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Pirates hijack ship of Nigeria

Pirates hijack ship of Nigeria
The hijackers intercepted the MV Thou Galaxy as it sailed for Warri in Delta state, seizing the captain and others.

Gunmen seize ship and kidnap 10 on board in Nigeria

The hijackers intercepted the MV Thou Galaxy as it sailed for Warri in Delta state, seizing the captain and others.

Gunmen have hijacked a cargo ship in the Niger Delta and kidnapped at least ten people on board, a Nigerian military spokesman said on Monday.

The attackers intercepted the MV Thou Galaxy late on Sunday as it sailed for Warri in Delta state, seizing the captain and others. The nationalities of those taken were not known.

Military spokesman Rabe Abubakar said he believed gunmen loyal to rebel leader Tom Polo were behind the attack and that the Delta state government was trying to resolve the matter. No group has claimed responsibility.

Militants who say they are fighting for a fairer share of the wealth generated in the Niger Delta, home to Africa's biggest oil and gas industry, have bombed pipeline and oil platforms in recent years. But the line between militancy and criminality is blurred.

Networks of armed gangs have taken advantage of the breakdown in law and order to steal large quantities of crude oil -- a practice known as "bunkering".

Some estimates put the amount of crude stolen from the Niger Delta at 100,000 barrels per day, worth around $5.6 million, or $2 billion a year, at current prices. It is shipped out of Nigeria and sold on the international market.

One security source said the latest hijacking could be linked to the military's seizure of a vessel suspected of carrying stolen crude oil in the delta on Saturday.

The navy arrested 22 Filipinos on board the MT Akuada in the waters off of Escravos in Delta state. The ship was carrying 12,000 tonnes of oil.

www.TurkishMaritime.Com.tr

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