Turkish Crew Taken Hostage in Pirate Attack off Nigeria

Pirates have kidnapped 10 Turkish sailors after attacking the Turkish-flagged cargo ship Paksoy-1 off the Nigerian coast.

The incident occurred on the evening of July 13, according to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).

The 8,900 dwt ship was boarded 230 kilometers off the town of Brass while it was en route from Douala, Cameroon, to Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

The ship has been released in the meantime and is anchored at the port of Tema, Ghana. The pirates are still holding 10 of the ship’s 18 crew and the Turkish MFA said it was working with Nigerian and Ghanaian authorities to secure their release.

Vessel operator Kadıoğlu Maritime said communication and navigation equipment were damaged on the ship but no injuries or loss of lives occurred, according to initial information.

The pirate attack comes on the back of Nigeria’s new bill aimed at reducing widespread piracy in the region.

The International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) latest piracy report revealed that the Gulf of Guinea remained especially dangerous for merchant shipping, with 73 percent of attacks taking place off the coasts of Nigeria, Guinea, Togo, Benin and Cameroon.

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