Two u.s. citizens captured by pirates off nigerian coast
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 22:10
Two U.S. citizens were attacked and kidnapped Wednesday off the coast of Nigeria in the most recent surge of pirate attacks close to West Africa. The Americans, an engineer and boat captain, were aboard an oil-supply vessel owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, a Louisiana-based marine transport company.
The attack occurred at the Gulf of Guinea, a hotspot for piracy. In 2012, 966 seafarers were attacked at the gulf, according to the International Maritime Bureau. In contrast, the United Nations reports piracy near the coast of Somalia is at an all-time low due to amplified security efforts.
During Thursday’s daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney expressed concern over the whereabouts of the two American citizens.
“We are seeking additional information so we can contribute to the safe resolution of the situation,” Carney said.
Officials also expressed concern over the rise of piracy near West Africa, an area where security is not as efficient.
“We are concerned by this increase,” said Marie Harf, State Department spokeswoman. “We’ve worked and will continue to work with states on the Gulf of Guinea to help them respond effectively to maritime crimes in these waters.”