By Tony Tamuno and Paul Wallace
(Bloomberg) — Nigeria’s navy foiled an attempt by pirates to hijack a container ship operated by A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S with 25 sailors on board.
Pirates boarded the Safmarine Kuramo, registered in Singapore, on Feb. 6 as it headed to Port Onne in Nigeria’s Rivers state from Pointe Noire in the Republic of Congo, according to Olusegun Soyemi, a captain in the Nigerian navy.
“We got a Mayday distress call that the ship was boarded by an unconfirmed number of sea pirates after entering the nation’s territorial waters,” Soyemi told reporters in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers, on Sunday. “We immediately dispatched a warship and attack gunboats. The sea pirates,apparently on sighting advancing naval troops, fled the scene.”
None of the crew members, including the South African captain, were hurt and all the cargo was intact, Soyemi said. Officials didn’t provide specifics of the ship’s cargo.
The southern Niger River delta region has been a target for former militants, who have recently threatened to restart a rebellion that cut oil output in Africa’s biggest producer by about a quarter between 2006 and 2009. Three pipelines were bombed last month.
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