Pirates hijack military gunboat in Nigeria’s oil deltaDecember 25, 2014 in Nigeria, Piracy
Nigeria’s military says pirates hijacked a military gunboat and three soldiers are missing after an ambush in the southern oil-rich state of Bayelsa. Spokesman Col. Mustapha Anka says a team on patrol was ambushed Sunday 21 December 2014 on the Santa Barbara River, an area rife with pirates. Anka said a search-and-rescue operation is continuing to locate the missing soldiers. In October, pirates on the same river attacked a military escort for a barge carrying oil. They killed three soldiers and fled with a military gunboat. Pirates in Nigeria steal oil and also kidnap for ransom. The Nigerian military’s combined Joint Task Force continues to conduct operations to safeguard energy assets throughout the Niger Delta region. A resurgence of violence by bandits and former members of MEND is an unwelcome distraction for the Nigerian authorities who are engaged in major counter-insurgency tasks in the north east of the country tackling Boko Haram militants whilst managing the effects of reduced oil prices and the consequences to the Nigerian economy. MS Risk forecasts further security challenges in the region in the coming year.