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Turkish ship suffers deadly pirate attack off Nigerian coast, anchors in Gabon Open in fullscreen

The New Arab Staff & Agencies

Turkish ship suffers deadly pirate attack off Nigerian coast, anchors in Gabon

The Gulf of Guinea is the world's most dangerous piracy hotspot [AFP]

Date of publication: 24 January, 2021

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Pirates ambushed a Turkish ship off the Nigerian coast, killing an Azerbaijani national and kidnapping fifteen crew members.

A Turkish container ship has anchored in Gabon after it came under attack on Saturday off the coast of Nigeria by pirates who killed one crew member and kidnapped fifteen others.

Three crew members remained on the M/V Mozart after its operators were abducted at gunpoint in the Gulf of Guinea, according to the Istanbul-based Boden company, which owns the ship.

The crew had initially locked themselves in a safe area but the pirates forced their way in after six hours, Turkey's Maritime Directorate said.

Pirates killed one crew member - an Azerbaijaini national - and kidnapped 15 others, Anadolu Agency reported.

Azerbaijan’s foreign minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, confirmed the death of the Azerbaijani national of Twitter.

The vessel, which had set sail from Lagos aiming to arrive at Cape Town in a week's time, has now anchored in Gabon after reports that it was heading 'blindly' there.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan  has spoken twice with the ship's captain, Furkan Yaren, one of the three remaining crew members who remained on board, and instructed Turkish authorities to launch an operation to rescue those who were kidnapped.

In a dramatic audio recording shared on social media Yaren is reportedly heard saying: "I don’t know where I'm going. The pirates dismantled all cables, nothing is working. Only the navigator works."

He has also said that the crew members were beaten by the pirates, who left him with an injured left leg. Another of the crew members who was not abducted suffered shrapnel wounds.

The Gulf of Guinea, in West Africa, is the most dangerous body of water in the world for piracy, according to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB).

2020 saw 195 pirate attacks on vessel worldwide, an increase of 33 on the year before, according to IMB data.

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