Nigerian pirates demand $1.3 million for the release of Egyptian and Lebanese hostages.
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Last week,a group of Nigerian pirates hijacked and captured the crew of a cargo ship. Now they are demanding $1.3 million to release the last eight crew members. The ship which is registered in telhe Carribeab isal d of St.Kitts was enroute to Cameroon from Nigeria to Cameroon at the time of hijacking.
Initially, ten crew members were captured, but two were set free. The remaining crew, which includes the Lebanese captain of the ship, are now in the Gulf of Guinea. It has been reported that initially the pirates demanded $2million, but than agreed for $1.3 million.
Negotiations are ongoing between the owners of the ship and the pirates. Lebanon’s ambassador to Nigeria, Houssam Diab said that the pirates have no intention to kill the hostages, and only want the money. The Egyptian Foreign Minister ordered its ambassador in the Nigerian capital of Abuja to coordinate the release of the hostages.
The pirates are known for its frequent attacks on oil producing facilities to cripple Nigeria’s economy. Kidnappings are a common way for them to get money. The pirate group’s aim is to establish a state in Niger delta.