Saturday, November 20, 2010

Cameroon confirms pirate attack off Bakassi

YAOUNDE, (Xinhua): The Cameroonian government confirmed on Thursday that three soldiers of the country's special unit and two civilians were killed in an attack carried out by pirates this week off the Bakassi peninsula in the southwestern part of the Central African country.

"The government acknowledges that on Tuesday Nov. 16, 2010 at around 10:15 p.m, heavily armed pirates on board two speed boats within the Bakassi region, carried out an attack on Moudi ship which was transporting petroleum products for Pecten Perenco Company," Cameroon's Communication Minister Tchiroma Bakary said in a statement.

"While patrolling the area, three Cameroonian officers belonging to the Delta BIR (Rapid Response Unit, specialized in fighting against organized crime) on board Sufer Moungo 7 boat, attempted to intercept the pirates' boats," the minister added.

Without giving further details on the identity of the assailants (well-placed sources had claimed that they belonged to the Niger delta rebel group that operates in southern parts of neighboring Nigeria), the minister stated that "an exchange of fire ensued at the end of which, the soldiers as well as their boat's pilot and a mechanic were killed."

He said the pirates were pushed back thanks to the reinforcement from the rear base of the Cameroonian defense forces deployed in the region after the handover of Bakassi by Nigeria to Cameroon in 2008.

Rich in oil, natural gas and fish resources, this peninsula is always characterized by attacks from Nigerian pirates who take hostages and attack the Cameroonian army as well as petroleum establishments by multinational companies.

No comments: