Nigerian navy hunts pirates
Nigeria’s navy is hunting for pirates who kidnapped four crew from a ship off the coast of the West African oil-producing country at the weekend, a naval spokesman said on Monday.
The Italian-registered vessel, named by the navy as the MV Asso Ventuno, was boarded on Sunday about 40 miles (65 km) off the coast of Nigeri’s Bayelsa state, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).
There were no injuries to other crew members and the pirates released the ship, which continued to a safe port, IMB said.
A spokesman for Nigeria’s navy confirmed the incident: “Five vessels have been deployed for patrol duties off Brass Area. The Nigerian Navy in collaboration with other agencies have intensified search and rescue efforts of the four kidnapped crew members of MV Asso Ventuno and apprehension of the pirates.”
A spokesman for the Italian foreign ministry in Rome said three Italian nationals had been abducted in Nigeria and Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi was following the incident, but he declined to give further details.