Pirates kidnap Italian sailors off Nigerian coast
Abuja: Pirates have kidnapped four Italian sailors after raiding their ship off a Nigerian coast, the International Maritime Bureau has said in a statement.
The attack took place on Monday some 40 nautical miles off the coast off Bayelsa state along Pennington river in Southern Ijaw local government, they said, adding that the remaining inmates sailed off with the ship.
The sailors were returning from Eket town in southern state of Akwa Ibom when the armed men accosted them with a speed boat along the waterways.
According to IMB, the attacked vessel was Asso Ventuno which is operated by Augusta offshore SpA.
The Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police Omire confirmed the kidnap incident.
On Wednesday, heavily armed pirates had also attacked and looted an oil vessel off the coast of Nigeria's Niger delta region, kidnapping five Indian sailors on board, ship's operators Medallion Marine said.
The Nigerian navy said they were in pursuit of the abductors a few hours after the attack.
Attacks on ships are common in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria where several militants are engage in sea crime.
Hijackers often abduct sailors and later demand ransom from the ship owners, besides stealing crude from oil vessels.