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FACTBOX-Surge in piracy attacks off Nigerian coast

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

Feb 21 (Reuters) - A spike in piracy off Nigeria's oil-rich coast this month has shown gangs are willing to venture further afield and use more violent tactics.

Here are some details on the most recent attacks:

Feb. 4 - PIXIS DELTA: Gunmen killed a Filipino crew member when they attacked a chemical tanker carrying out a ship-to-ship transfer at Lagos port before a security team repelled the attackers.

Feb. 5 - Gunmen ambushed an Indian-owned oil barge as it was being escorted by the military through Nigeria's Niger Delta region, killing two soldiers and one crew member on the ship. The ship belonged to Sterling Global Oil Resources was fired on in the Angiama area of the delta. The gunmen fled after fire was returned.

Feb. 7 - ESTHER C - Pirates made away with cargo and three crew after they boarded the vessel off the oil-producing Brass coastline in southern Nigeria. The British-flagged cargo ship is operated by Carisbrooke Shipping.

Feb. 10 - WALVIS 7 - Twelve heavily armed pirates fired on and boarded the offshore supply vessel at Onne port. Most of the crew escaped but two crew were kidnapped by the pirates including the Ukrainian chief engineer.

Feb. 17 - ARMADA TUAH - One Russian, three Ukrainian and two Indian sailors were taken hostage after gunmen stormed an oil-servicing vessel some 40 miles (65 km) off the coast of Bayelsa state. The ship is owned by Nigerian company Century Group.

Feb. 17 - Robbers in a wooden boat approached a berthed bulk carrier around 55 miles off the coast of the Brass oil region. One robber boarded the ship, broke into the forward store and stole items. Duty crew noticed the robber and raised the alarm. The robber escaped with the stolen stores.

* The International Maritime Bureau said that in 2012, there were 27 attacks off Nigeria's coast.

Sources: Reuters/International Maritime Bureau (Reporting by Joe Brock and David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit; Editing by Jeremy Laurence)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130221/factbox-surge-piracy-attacks-nigerian-coast