Gunmen attack tanker off Nigeria

2012-03-01 07:34
Kuala Lumpur - Heavily armed gunmen fired on an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria in the latest in a spate of pirate attacks in the increasingly treacherous Gulf of Guinea, a maritime watchdog said on Thursday.

The Panamanian-flagged, Nigerian-owned vessel thwarted an attempted boarding by taking evasive action during the attack, which occurred on Wednesday at about 23:00, the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) said.

It came one day after pirates shot their way onto a Dutch-owned cargo vessel in the area and kidnapped three hostages including the captain, according to the IMB's Kuala Lumpur-based piracy reporting centre.

Noel Choong, who heads the centre, said no further details were available on the most recent incident, warning that the attackers may still be in the area.

The assault occurred about 148km south of the Nigerian coast, the centre said.

The IMB, which is funded by ship-owners, warned in September that the area's waters were emerging as a new piracy "hotspot" due to the weak enforcement capabilities of governments in the region.

Before the latest attack, Choong said the piracy centre had received reports of seven attacks off Nigeria and one off neighbouring Benin since January 01, adding that many more may have gone unreported.

The Nigerian Navy said on Wednesday that it had deployed vessels to search for the Dutch-owned cargo ship involved in the attack that saw the hostages taken.

It was not clear who had control of the vessel and authorities have not yet released details on the hostages, such as their nationalities.

Two weeks ago pirates fired on a Taiwanese-owned cargo vessel off Nigeria, killing the captain, according to the IMB, which said the vessel's chief engineer also died from a fall during the attack.

Read more on:    nigeria  |  west africa  |  pirates

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.