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Nigerian military rescues 18 crewmen following pirates' attack on Chinese vessel

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-05-19 19:22

ABUJA - Eighteen crew members aboard a Chinese vessel, MV HAILUFANG II, were rescued unhurt by the Nigerian military following a recent attack by pirates within the Gulf of Guinea.

The ship's crew including Chinese, Ghanaians, and Ivorians, was attacked by pirates off the coast of Cote d'Ivoire on May 15, the Nigerian navy said in a statement made available to Xinhua on Tuesday.

The pirates then took control of the vessel and directed it toward Nigerian waters, the statement said.

The navy confirmed ten pirates were arrested on the interception of the vessel at about 140 nautical miles south of Lagos Fairway Buoy.

An official from the Chinese Consulate-General in Lagos on Tuesday also confirmed the rescue of a Chinese fishing vessel, adding the vessel was escorted by the Nigeria Navy to Lagos on Monday.

"All crew members are safe and sound," said the official.

A number of ships have been attacked by pirates within the Gulf of Guinea in recent years. The criminal groups have shifted from stealing cargo to holding crew members for ransom.

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