Another “Pirate´´ attack in Nigeria


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Armed pirates attacked an oil products tanker off the coast of Nigeria in West Africa and abducted an unknown number of crew, security sources said on Tuesday.

Increasing piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region, which includes Africa’s No. 1 oil producer Nigeria and is a significant source of cocoa and metals for world markets, is jacking up costs for shipping firms operating there.

The Nigerian-flagged MT Matrix was boarded by gunmen in the early hours of Saturday around 40 nautical miles off the coast of oil-producing Bayelsa state, two security sources said, in a stretch of water often targeted by pirates in recent months.

There were 12 Pakistani and five Nigerian crew aboard the vessel when it was attacked, one of the sources asid, and is ignored if there are still alive or not.

A spokesman for ship operator Val Oil Trading, who refused to give his name, confirmed there had been an “accident”, without giving further details.

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Last month there were two attacks in the Gulf of Guinea where foreigners were kidnapped and released a few weeks later. Security sources believe ransoms were paid – an increasingly lucrative business for criminal gangs.

International navies have not launched counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Guinea, leaving the many vessels that anchor off Nigeria vulnerable to attack.

On the other hand, the Eastern side of Africa, piracy that was once a scourge off the coast of Somalia has been largely brought under control by international naval patrols and the stationing of armed guards aboard merchant vessels, companies that now are working at the Nigerian coast and at the rest of the gulf of Guinea are starting to consider the use of the services of these “mercenaries´´ at the oil tankers and the oil rigs because the governments of that part of the world are unable to protect them and the international society is not interested to send war ships because, unlikely to the Somalian case, that region is not a important crossroad for the international business. That even is not as good as the red sea to hunt boats gad made the increasing of the number of pirates that can act freely in the region.

The majority of the world have ignored this action and even the Pakistan government has not make any comment yet. Time will say if we are able to stop this before this became a new red sea.

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