Piracy centre: French-owned tanker likely hijacked off Ivory Coast; 17 sailors on board. - InfoNews

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Piracy centre: French-owned tanker likely hijacked off Ivory Coast; 17 sailors on board.

This undated photo provided Monday, Jan. 4, 2013 by Sea Tanker Shipping shows the French-owned oil tanker Gascogne. The tanker, missing off Ivory Coast with 17 sailors on board, likely has been hijacked, an official with an international piracy watchdog said Monday Feb 4 2013, in what may be the latest attack by criminal gangs targeting the ships to steal their valuable cargo. Details remained scarce about the fate of the ship, flagged in Luxembourg. (AP Photo/Sea Tanker Shipping)
February 04, 2013 - 12:16 AM

JOHANNESBURG - Officials with a piracy watchdog say a French-owned oil tanker that's gone missing off Ivory Coast likely has been hijacked by pirates who have kidnapped the 17 sailors on board.

Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau said Monday that the attack likely happened Sunday. He said the ship was flagged in Luxembourg, but declined to give any other details.

Meanwhile, Choong said a sailor had been shot in an attempted hijacking off the coast of Nigeria's largest city, Lagos, on Monday. He said pirates also attacked another tanker last week off Nigeria's southern delta and fired a rocket-propelled grenade at it.

Hijackings of oil tankers have increased drastically in recent months in the Gulf of Guinea. The hijackers target the oil on board, worth millions of dollars.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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