The Cameroonian Navy has accused Nigerian pirates of kidnapping and holding hostage some of its personnel.
The naval officers were kidnapped on Thursday morning aboard a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea off the southern port of Douala, according to a report by PMNews
The Cameroonian Navy has begun a search for the kidnapped officers.
“They were abducted this morning. The kidnappers are probably Nigerian pirates. Cameroonian forces have launched search operations,” a source who pleaded to speak on anonymity said.
An official at Douala port confirmed the kidnappings and said the seamen had been taken after their ship came under attack.
“We don’t know the number of abducted seamen for the time being,” the official said.
The Gulf of Guinea, whose coastline stretches in a huge arc from Liberia to Gabon, is notorious for piracy as well as oil theft, illegal fishing and human and drugs trafficking.
According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 62 seafarers were taken hostage or abducted in the area in the first half of 2019.
The Gulf of Guinea accounted for 73 percent of kidnappings and 92 percent of hostage-takings at sea worldwide, it says.