Pirates Kidnap 2 Near Nigerian Facility

LAGOS – Pirates have attacked a tugboat near the Brass River crude oil export terminal in the Niger Delta, kidnapping the ship’s captain and an engineer.

Sources said that the tugboat was coming from Port Harcourt in Rivers State to Brass to load petroleum at the terminal.

A spokesman for Italian oil company ENI, which operates the terminal said that the boat belonged to a contractor and that no ENI workers were involved.

A statement from an email address claiming to be the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), formerly Nigeria’s main militant threat and responsible for years of attacks on the oil industry until a 2009 amnesty, said it had launched the attack.

It came from a Jomo Gbomo, a pseudonym and email account MEND has used in the past.

However, security officials believe MEND to be largely defunct, with most of its senior leaders either having embraced the amnesty programme or in jail, so its continued statements are believed to be most likely a hoax.


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