Swiss ship attacked by pirates off Nigerian coast

Swiss ship attacked by pirates off Nigerian coast
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A dozen crew members on a Swiss cargo ship have been taken hostage after the vessel was attacked by pirates off the coast of Nigeria, according to the company that owns the ship.

Massoel Shipping said in a statement Sunday that the ship, the MV Glarus, was attacked early Saturday while sailing from Lagos to Port Harcourt with a shipment of wheat. The pirates reportedly struck about 45 nautical miles south-southwest of Bonny Island.

“It is understood the pirate gang boarded the Glarus by means of long ladders and cut the razor wire on deck to gain access to the vessel and eventually the bridge,” Massoel Shipping said.

“Having destroyed much of the vessel’s communications equipment the criminal gang departed taking 12 of the 19 crew complement as hostage.”

Noémie Charton, a spokeswoman for Switzerland’s foreign ministry, told CNN the ministry was aware of the attack. She also said none of the sailors on board were Swiss, but she was unable to confirm their nationalities.

“The Swiss Maritime Navigation Office of the (Federal Department of Foreign Affairs) in Basel is in direct contact with the shipowner,” Charton said.