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A blue hulled oil tanker at sea

Pirates kidnap 20 Indian seafarers off Togo in Gulf of Guinea

An oil tanker was attacked in West Africa as yet another crew is kidnapped

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker Duke was attacked on Sunday as she sailed from Luanda, Angola, to Lomé, Togo. Six pirates boarded the vessel about 115 nautical miles south-east of Lomé and kidnapped all but one on board – believed to be a Nigerian national and a cadet. The remaining crew of 20 Indian seafarers were kidnapped.

Map showing the course of the tanker and where it was attacked

Acts of piracy on shipping in West Africa have been steadily increasing in recent weeks. Earlier this month 19 sailors were kidnapped from a supertanker off the coast of Nigeria, and four crew members were taken from a smaller Greek tanker docked at a port in Togo in early November. Three of those hostages were recently released, the fourth died while in captivity.

READ: FLOATING ARMOURIES: The ships full of guns for hire against pirates

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), about 82% of crew kidnappings globally take place in the Gulf of Guinea. Passing ships have been advised to stay at least 200 nautical miles from the Gulf’s coast and preferably 250 nautical miles away, the Bureau said Monday.

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