(PHOTO CREDIT: NIGERIAN NAVY)
(with additional reporting by the NEWS AGENCY OF NIGERIA)
August 29, 2013
Nigeria’s navy killed six pirates and injured one other in its latest attack to try to stop the outlaws from expanding their territory in the Gulf of Guinea, a navy official said Wednesday. The pirates engaged the navy in a gun
battle late Sunday off the coast of Calabar in Nigerian and Cameroonian
waters, said Delta state navy spokesman Lt. Delightsome Yohana.
Nigeria’s navy fired back, killing the six pirates, he said. The other attacker is
getting treatment for injuries while in
custody, he said.
The operation is the latest in a string of
victories for the Nigerian navy that has
amped up its presence offshore and
bolstered it with support from its air
forces. In the last two weeks the navy
has killed 18 pirates in battles and arrested five, Yohana said. “We’ve been building our efforts for a long time. We are putting all our time, effort and resources to ensure the pirates are captured,” Yohana said.
Two days after an Aug. 15 hijacking in
Nigerian waters, a joint team of ships
and aircraft convinced the pirates to
disembark from the tanker. During that
time, however, the navy said that a
gunfight ensued and 12 of the 16 pirates were killed. The other four are in custody, Yohana said.
In July, the agency that monitors piracy
said that well-armed pirates are
widening their area of operations and
using new strategies in West Africa’s
oil-rich Gulf of Guinea. It said that while
piracy is down in the rest of the world, the Gulf of Guinea has overtaken Somalia as the world’s new hotspot,
according to figures for the first six
months of the year from the London-
based International Maritime Bureau.
There are calls for a coalition of naval
forces to patrol the strategic area, but
naval forces from other countries in the
Gulf of Guinea have said they don’t have
the same capacity as Nigeria to fight
In a related report, the News Agency of Nigeria quoted the the Commander, NNS Jubilee, Akwa Ibom, Commodore Isaac Ogbole as having said on Tuesday that “the joint patrol teams of Nigerian Navy – NNS Jubilee and NNS Victory, Calabar killed six pirates and injured one .
“Ogbole said this in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom while briefing newsmen on the activities of the command. He said that local fishermen in Ibaka, Mbo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom, briefed the naval officers about the operations of the pirates in the area.”