Thursday, February 4

Pro-Biafra Militants Free Hijacked Ship, Hold 5 Crew Members Hostage

Pro-Biafra Militants Free Hijacked Ship, Hold 5 Crew Members Hostage

Reports reaching us reveal some unidentified sympathizers of the Biafran separatist movement who hijacked a vessel has freed it taking 5 key officials hostage.

The navy of Benin is guarding a Greek-owned oil tanker hijacked by Nigerian militants who are holding five crew members hostage in Nigeria, a Nigerian agency that issues government statements and a shipping security expert said Wednesday, according to Today News.

The Liberian-flagged MT Leon Dias is anchored off Cotonou, Benin’s commercial capital, PR Nigeria agency reported. It gave no other details and no news of the crew and hijackers.

The hijackers disembarked from the vessel on Sunday and took five hostages with them - the captain, chief engineer, third engineer, the electrician and a fitter, said Dirk Steffen, maritime security director of Denmark-based Risk Intelligence. The ship then sailed to Cotonou, he told The Associated Press.
Owner Leon Shipping and Trading in Athens did not answer requests for comment.

Earlier Nigerian officers said the vessel was hijacked Friday by separatists threatening to blow it up with its crew unless officials release Nnamdi Kanu, the director of the banned Radio Biafra who is accused of terrorism.

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