Pirates Attack Oil-Carrying Vessel Off Togo

Posted August 28th, 2012 at 7:25 pm (UTC-5)
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A Greek-operated oil tanker has disappeared from sight after being attacked by pirates off the coast of Togo.

Togolese military officials say their forces engaged the pirates in gunfire after the attack Tuesday, but the pirates escaped.

Togo's army chief, Atcha Titikpina, told reporters the ship was headed for neighboring Benin when it disappeared from view. He said the search for the ship continues.

It is not clear if the pirates hijacked the vessel loaded with oil. There were about 20 crew members on the ship when it sent a distress signal.

The ship operator, Golden Energy Management, said there has been no word from the crew. He said pirates in the Gulf of Guinea are more interested in stealing the cargo, especially oil, than kidnapping the crew.

Waters off the coast of Somalia are plagued by pirates who take hostages for ransom and rob cargo from international ships.