Somalis No Longer World's Worst Pirates

Attacks off West Africa soaring

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 18, 2013 3:13 AM CDT

(Newser) – The pirate-infested waters of West Africa are now even more dangerous for seafarers than the rather more infamous seas around Somalia, according to an International Maritime Bureau report. West African pirates recorded attacks on 966 sailors last year, compared to 851 for Somali pirates—which was down 78% from the year before, reports the BBC.

Like any other pirates, the West African pirates often resort to violence and killed five out of 206 captives seized last year, the report found, noting that the Gulf of Guinea attacks haven't received the same attention as the Somalian ones. West African pirates tend to target fuel cargo—which they can cash in on a lot faster than pirates on the other side of the continent. "In Nigeria, money moves quite quickly, unlike in Somalia," one seafarer says.

A crew of US sailors and Nigerian special forces soldiers prepares to board the NNS Burutu for a training exercise off the Nigerian coast.
A crew of US sailors and Nigerian special forces soldiers prepares to board the NNS Burutu for a training exercise off the Nigerian coast.   (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell, File)
A masked Somali pirate stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew,.
A masked Somali pirate stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel that washed up on shore after the pirates were paid a ransom and released the crew,.   (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)
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