Nigeria Emerges as Center for Pirate Attacks

PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria—In December’s final two weeks, pirates raided three ships off Nigeria, a year-end burst of attacks in waters that are beginning to challenge those off Somalia as Africa’s most dangerous place to sail.

On Dec. 17, skiff-borne gunmen climbed the three-story-high hull of a 387-foot oil tanker, ransacking the ship and taking five Indian crew members hostage, the International Maritime Bureau reported, in one of two attacks it recorded for that day. Six days later, machine gunners scaled the hull of an Italian pipe carrier nearby, the bureau said, sailing onward with four kidnapped crew members.

The bureau …

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