Pirates have attacked a container ship in the Gulf of Guinea. One person was killed and fifteen others were kidnapped, the Turkish state news agency Anadolu reported on Sunday 24 January. The kidnapped crew members are reportedly from Turkey, the man killed was from Azerbaijan.

The pirates, who attacked the M/V Mozart on Saturday about 300 kilometres off the Nigerian coast, have since abandoned the ship. The cargo ship is now sailing to the Central African state of Gabon with three remaining crew members on board.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has spoken by telephone with the ship’s captain, according to his office. The ship, flying the Liberian flag, was on its way from the Nigerian capital Lagos to Cape Town in South Africa.

The Istanbul-based shipping company confirmed the attack, Anadolu reported.

IMB: Piracy on the rise

According to data from the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), there were 195 pirate attacks on ships last year, 33 more than in 2019. Pirates are particularly active in the Gulf of Guinea, the Singapore Strait and Indonesian waters.

Also read: ‘Never before did pirates kidnap so many crew in the Gulf of Guinea’

Source: ANP