French ship with nine crew hijacked off Nigerian coast

January 6th, 2009 - 11:00 am ICT by IANS  

Paris, Jan 6 (DPA) Pirates have seized a French ship off the Nigerian coast and taken its nine crew members hostage, the ship owners have said. The ship, which conducted transport of materials and personnel for oil companies, was hijacked Sunday night, shipping company Bourbon said Monday.

The crew includes five Nigerians, and men from Ghana, Cameroon and Indonesia. They were reportedly in good condition.

Nigeria is Africa’s most important oil producer, with reserves estimated at 36 billion barrels.

Piracy rose in 2008, with Gulf of Aden and the east coast of Somalia becoming piracy hotspots, followed by Nigeria.

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