Gunmen attack oil vessel, abduct 6 Russians, 1 Estonian

Samuel Oyadongha

17 October 2012, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Six Russians and an Estonian were reportedly kidnapped on board a vessel in the early hours of Tuesday by unknown gunmen suspected to be sea pirates along the waterways of Bayelsa and Delta states on the Atlantic fringe.

The kidnapped expatriates, it was learnt, were part of a fifteen member crew working for a French firm, Bourbon International Oil, when they came under attack along the Pennington river.

Though eight other workers on board the attacked vessel known as Bourbon Liberty were said to have arrived the Nigerian Port at Onne.

The vessel is believed to be sailing from the Pennington Offshore Terminal situated 16 miles SW of the entrance to the Fishtown River.

Contacted, the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta codenamed Operation Pulo Shield confirmed the incident saying all its operational bases have been put on red alert to track down the perpetrators of the heinous act.

Spokesman of the task force, Lt. Col.Oyeama Nwachukwu said though the identity of the kidnapped expatriates could not be ascertained, a deployment of naval personnel and military facilities along the Niger Delta have been put on red alert and have started combing the area for the abductors.

“I can confirm to you that some unknwon gunmen attacked a vessel and abducted seven persons made up of six Russians and one Estonian national. We have deployed our naval elements to comb the area and track down the kidnappers. We have also alerted all operational base.”

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