FACTBOX - Attacks in the Gulf of Guinea

March 18 Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:36pm IST

March 18 (Reuters) - Seven Chinese fishermen were released after being taken hostage off the coast of Cameroon last week, an area where there have been a number of oil finds and where there have been mounting signs of piracy and kidnapping. [ID:nLDE62H0HS] Analysts say ships passing through Africa's Gulf of Guinea are at greater peril than off Somalia because West African pirates appear more ready to use deadly force [ID:nGEE5B113D].

Here is a list of some of the attacks that have taken place in the Gulf, which stretches from Angola to the south, around Africa's central and western coast, to the Guineas in the west.

BENIN

24 Nov, 2009 - Pirates attacked a Monrovia-flagged tanker carrying Nigerian crude oil, killing an officer.[ID:nGEE5AN2UR]

BAKASSI PENINSULA -- CAMEROON/NIGERIA BORDER

13, March, 2010 - A Chinese fishing vessel with seven fishermen aboard hijacked off the Bakassi Peninsula. The Africa Marine Commando demand ransom and the sailors are released.

10, Oct, 2009 - Cameroon military forces repel attack on fishing vessel Rose Three, killing four gunmen and capturing three. Former rebel leader says Bakassi Freedom Fighters were responsible. [ID:nLF525177]

14, March, 2009 - Gunmen attacked a supply vessel kidnapping four crew.

31 Oct, 2008 - Gunmen saying they objected to the return of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon seized 10 crew, most of them French, working on an oil supply vessel.

19 Oct, 2008 - Cameroonian security forces fought off an attack by pirates.

28 Sept, 2008 - Seaborne gunmen attacked Limbe, a coastal town near the port city of Douala, killing one person and robbing four banks.

11 June, 2008 - Pirates ambushed and abducted a Cameroonian official and five soldiers.

CAMEROON

24 Jan, 2009 - About 30 pirates seized a Greek fishing vessel off Kribi, killing a Greek sailor.

28 Sept, 2008 - Gunmen attacked the Cameroonian port town of Limbe, shooting their way into banks, killing one person as they fought off the security forces and made off with large amounts of money.

NIGERIA OFFSHORE

4 Jan, 2009 - Gunmen hijacked a vessel belonging to French oil services group Bourbon off Nigeria's Niger Delta as it travelled towards a Royal Dutch Shell offshore oilfield with four expatriates. This attack followed a June 2008 strike against Shell's $3.6 billion offshore Bonga oilfield that forced the plant - capacity of 220,000 barrels per day - to shut down.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

17 Feb, 2009 - Seaborne gunmen attacked oil-producing Equatorial Guinea's island capital, shooting their way into the presidential palace before they were repelled by security forces, backed by helicopter gunships. The government blamed militants from Nigeria's Niger Delta for the raid.

December, 2007 - Armed raiders in speedboats stormed two banks in Bata, grabbing cash and shooting passers-by. (Writing by David Lewis and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Jackie Cowhig)

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