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Five Chinese sailors kidnapped in Lagos waters

NEWSMAN, Lagos – Five Chinese sailors have been abducted by pirates from a cargo ship in Lagos waters, a Chinese foreign ministry statement said on Monday.

“On July 2… a Singapore cargo ship was attacked by pirates in Nigerian waters and five Chinese sailors were kidnapped,” Beijing said.

Nigerian and Beninese naval authorities are yet to confirm or comment on the attack but the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria said it had notified the government, an AFP report said.

“The Chinese embassy in Nigeria has activated its emergency mechanism, requesting for Nigeria to take effective measures to search for the Chinese personnel who were taken”, the Chinese government said.

Maritime security experts Dryad Global earlier said that the Singapore-owned Kota Budi cargo vessel was boarded by heavily armed men in the waters of Nigeria’s neighbour Benin. 

The Gulf of Guinea, which includes the Nigerian coast, is among the world’s most dangerous waters as pirates regularly loot ships and kidnap sailors for ransom. 

Dryad Global says 78 sailors have been kidnapped off the West African coast so far in 2020, a 26 percent increase on the figure from this time last year. 

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