Pirates take crew hostage of Nigeria

Published: 10 Jul 2009

ARMED men have kidnapped six crewmen from a tanker 18 n-miles off the coast of Nigeria, Fairplay reports.

Pirates attacked the Shell tanker Sichem Peace  on Saturday.

The rebel group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) released a statement claiming responsibility for the hijacking.

Three Russians, two Filipinos and an Indian seafarers were taken to shore after the vessel, with the remaining crew steered the ship 100 miles offshore.

A Shell spokesman told Fairplay today  there had been eight attacks at Shell's venture in the past four weeks. 

The rebels have been fighting a guerilla war against oil companies operating in the delta, blaming them for exploitation and oppression of the people  and harm to the environment. MEND also claimed responsibility for recent attacks on a Chevron pipeline and a Shell installation in the delta, Fairplay report.

Meanwhile, Nigeria, Algeria and Niger have struck a deal to build a gas pipeline from sub-Saharan Africa to Algeria for the European market - a project MEND has threatened to target the project when it comes on stream in 2015.



Authorised by P Crumlin, Maritime Union of Australia, Sydney