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Pirates attack merchant ship off Benin

ATHENS, Greece — A Greek-flagged chemical tanker with a crew of 22 has been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea off western Africa, the ship’s management company said Thursday.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A spokeswoman for Minerva Marine said the Minerva Virgo was boarded some 45 miles (72 kilometers) off the coast of Benin on Thursday on its way from The Netherlands to Lagos, Nigeria.

She said most of the crew — including six Greeks — were able to take refuge under standard safety procedures in a safe part of the vessel that, once secured, is inaccessible from the outside.

Greek merchant marine authorities said it appeared that one seaman who didn't make it in time was captured by the attackers, but that was still under investigation.

The Minerva Marine spokeswoman said the company was in contact with officials on shore seeking a vessel to approach the Minerva Virgo and pursue the pirates.

Members of the Cameroonian Armed Forces participate in an anti-piracy visit, board, search and seizure drill on board a Nigerian training vessel during exercise Obangame Express 2019 in Lagos on March 18. West African piracy bedevils many of the military forces in the region. (Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Kyle Steckler/Navy)
Another pirate attack off African coast

Yaoundé said the attack took place early Tuesday two miles off the port of Limboh, where the Greek-flagged Happy Lady was riding at anchor.

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