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Pirates hijack oil tanker, abduct 12 Pakistanis, five Nigerians

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IMAGE: Oil Tanker Kidnapers »

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

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

There were 12 Pakistani and five Nigerian crew aboard the vessel when it was attacked, one of the sources said.

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

A military spokesman in the Delta referred calls for comment on Tuesday to Nigeria’s Navy Commodore Kabir Aliyu, a Navy spokesman, said there had been no report of a hijacking made to officials.

Some shippers in the region don’t report hijackings publicly, out of fears of having their insurance premiums rise.

Telephone numbers for Pakistan’s High Commission in Abuja, could not be immediately connected on Tuesday.

Nigerian Naval authorities listed the ship as one of several allowed to bring subsidised gasoline into the country in May as part of a programme costing the nation billions of dollars a year.

Naval officials listed the ship as being operated by a company called Integrated Shipping Services Nigeria Ltd.

Article Credit: Daily Independent Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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Tags:     Pirates hijack oil tanker     abduct 12 Pakistanis     five Nigerians