Pirates kidnap five foreign sailors off Nigeria coast
Abuja: Pirates stormed a cargo ship off Nigeria's southern coast and kidnapped five foreign sailors, including three Sri Lankans, taking the total number of those abducted from the region within the last four days to 14, a military spokesman said today.
Pirates operating in creeks and waterways of Nigeria's oil rich Niger Delta kidnapped the sailors in a raid, military spokesman Lt Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu said.
Nwachukwu said the sailors were aboard oil vessel, Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV City of Xiamen.
The sailors, included three from Sri Lanka, one from Russia and one from Myanmar, media reports said.
The abduction took place in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa state in the southern part of the oil rich African country.
On Friday, nine Nigerian sailors attached to two local oil servicing companies, Octopus Clan Nigerian Limited and the Deck Oil Services, were kidnapped by gunmen suspected to be renegade militants operating along the Ilebiri creek in the Southern Ijaw Area of Bayelsa State.
The total number of sailors abducted in the last four days now stands at 14.
Attacks on ships are common in Nigeria's oil rich region and in most cases the purpose is kidnapping for ransom while in other cases, oil theft could be the motive.
Last December, five Indians were abducted by heavily armed pirates who attacked the vessel Medallion Marine, off the coast of Niger Delta and commercial capital Lagos. They were released after a month.