Monday, October 10, 2011

Tanker targeted off Benin in latest W.African pirate attack

3.October 2011

LAGOS — Pirates armed with automatic weapons fired upon and boarded a chemical tanker off Benin before stealing cash, the latest in a wave of such attacks off West Africa, a piracy watchdog said on Monday.

"Pirates armed with automatic weapons in two small boats fired upon and boarded a drifting chemical tanker," the International Maritime Bureau said on its website of the incident on Sunday.

"Crew retreated into the citadel and remained there for the entire night. The crew emerged from the citadel the next day and, upon inspection, found that ship cash was stolen."

The coast of Benin, which neighbours Nigeria, Africa's largest oil producer, has seen at least 20 piracy incidents this year compared with none last year. Piracy has long been a problem off Nigeria.

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