Ten Turkish sailors seized by pirates off Nigerian coast - shipping company

Turkey says ship attacked off Nigeria, 10 crew kidnapped

Turkey says ship attacked off Nigeria, 10 crew kidnapped

A group of 10 Turkish sailors has been kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, reportedly for ransom.

General cargo ship PAKSOY 1 was attacked and boarded by pirates at 2250 UTC Jul 13 in Gulf of Guinea in vicinity 02 58N 004 40E, SW of Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

A company statement cited by Turkish media said the ship was attacked by "pirates" on its way from Cameroon to the Ivory Coast. Turkey's foreign ministry said the sailors were seized on Saturday evening.

The company's operation manager, Numan Paksoy, said out of the 18 people that boarded the 8,900 deadweight-ton ships, only 10 among them were kidnapped.

"No injuries or loss of lives occurred according to initial information".

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Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party, spoke to reporters on Tuesday and said the foreign ministry and intelligence agencies were closely following the situation and called for the sailors' safe release. "The assailants then picked 10 sailors at random among all the crew members and let others go", he added.

Last week, the International Maritime Bureau described the Gulf of Guinea as the most unsafe area in the world for piracy.

The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) recently described the Gulf of Guinea as the most unsafe area in the world for shipping; 73 percent of all sea kidnappings and 92 percent of hostage-takings occur there, with pirates normally taking sailors for ransom.

Recently, the organisation has noted "a welcome and marked decrease" in attacks in the region due to an increase in Nigerian Navy patrols. He declined to give further details.

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