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Pirates take Turkish sailors hostage off Nigeria coast

Turkey was closely following the matter [Getty]

Date of publication: 17 July, 2019

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Ten Turkish sailors who were aboard a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria were taken hostage by pirates.
Ten Turkish sailors who were aboard a Turkish-flagged cargo ship off the coast of Nigeria were taken hostage by pirates, media reports said on Tuesday.

"According to initial information, there were no injuries or casualties. Efforts for all our personnel to be safely released continue," shipping company Kadioglu Denizcilik said in a statement.

Speaking to reporters, the owner of the ship said that another eight sailors were left safely aboard.

The company said its ship, the Paksoy-1, was attacked in the Gulf of Guinea as it sailed from Cameroon to Ivory Coast.

After the pirates left Paksoy-1, it was taken to Ghana's Tema port, said Turkey's foreign ministry, confirming that Ghanaian and Nigerian authorities are working on returning the sailors who were seized on Saturday evening.

The spokesman for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said Ankara was closely following the matter, but he declined to give further details.

Piracy activities and Kidnappings for ransom in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea are widespread.

A report released last week by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) described the Gulf of Guinea as the most dangerous area in the world for piracy.

IMB said 73 percent of all kidnappings at sea, and 92 percent of hostage-takings, took place in the Gulf of Guinea, adding that armed pirates in these waters kidnapped 27 crewmembers in the first half of 2019, and 25 in the same period in 2018.

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