Pirates kidnap 4 from ship off E-Guinea
26 April 2013, 12:46
London/Abuja - Pirates kidnapped four crew members when they
attacked a container ship off the coast of Equatorial Guinea, the vessel's
management company said on Thursday.
Hamburg-based shipping firm Leonhardt and Blumberg said the
four hostages - two Ukrainians, a Russian and one from the Pacific island
nation of Kiribati - were taken when the Liberia-flagged Hansa Marburg was
attacked on Tuesday by armed men.
The raid on the 23 416-deadweight-tonnage ship took place
around 130 nautical miles off the coast of the small West African oil producer,
the company said in a statement.
"No injuries were reported among the remaining crew
members who continued with the vessel to Senegal. The company is in contact
with the families of those being held and those on board," the statement
A Greek-flagged oil tanker, Cap Theodora, was unsuccessfully
attacked twice in the last week off the coast of Nigeria, close to where the
Hansa Marburg was boarded, security sources say. They believe the attacks are
Piracy in the Gulf of Guinea region, which includes Africa's
biggest oil producer Nigeria, is increasingly pushing up the cost for shipping
firms going there.
The region is an important source of oil, cocoa and metals
for world markets, but international navies are not engaged in counter-piracy
missions at present. Many vessels are forced to anchor off Nigeria with little
protection, making them a soft target for criminals.
By contrast, naval patrols and the deployment of armed
guards on ships have sharply curbed piracy off Somalia on Africa's eastern