The vessel, MT Norte, is reported to be a St. Kitts & Nevis registered ship that was travelling through Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region, last Saturday.
Up to 12 suspected pirates were killed by the navy in the operation.
The St. Kitts & Nevis flagged ship was said to have been seized by 16 pirates off the Nigerian waters. The Nigerian navy explained that their efforts to get the hijackers to stop and surrender proved abortive as they engaged in gun battle. The navy said that as they approached the vessel, the pirates tried to escape in a speedboat after leaving the larger vessel.
“It was discovered that most of the pirates were killed in the crossfire,” while a cache of arms and ammunitions was recovered”, said the navy after the boat was captured. The hi-jacking of tankers has become a regular feature off the Nigerian coast, with the pirates hoping to sell the fuel.
Nigeria is Africa’s largest oil producing nation.