Pirates Hijack Italian Ship Off Nigeria

Rome, December 24 (QNA) - Pirates hijacked a tug crewed by three Italians and another man whose nationality is unknown off the oil-rich southern Nigerian region of Bayelsa Sunday, the Italian foreign ministry said Monday.

Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi is personally following the case and the ministry's crisis unit is monitoring developments "carefully", it said, with the safety of the hostages the top priority.

Contacted by Italian news agency 'ANSA', the ministry said the ship was the Mv Asso Ventuno, owned by Naples-based Augusta Offshore. The pirates hijacked the tug on Sunday about 40 nautical miles off the Bayelsa coast.

The Nigerian navy said a search for the four crewmembers had started immediately. (QNA)


QNA 1909 GMT 2012/12/24


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