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Armed Pirates Storm Oil Tanker Off Niger Delta, Kidnap 5

Published Dec 19, 2012 9:10 AM by The Maritime Executive

Armed pirates have attacked an oil tanker off Nigeria’s coast. Five Indian mariners were kidnapped in the process, and many of the crew’s personal belongings were stolen.

The SP Brussels was raided on Monday, just 40 miles off the oil-rich Niger Delta area. Following the attack, the remaining crew was able to sail the ship to Nigeria's capital Lagos, according to the tanker’s operator Medallion Marine.

Medallion is working in close cooperation with the authorities to ensure the safe return of those crewmembers taken from the SP Brussels. Nigerian naval vessels are assisting in this situation.

On the same day, gunmen also kidnapped six employees of a South Korean firm. Kidnappings are common in the Niger Delta, Africa's main oil region, reports the BBC. Four foreigners and two Nigerians working for Hyundai were taken on the Atlantic coast of the oil-rich Bayelsa state.

Oil workers in the southern region of Nigeria are generally targeted because companies will pay high ransom money to secure their employees' release.