Pro-Biafra militants release hijacked ship, hold hostages

Pro-Biafra militants release hijacked ship, hold hostages

- Pro-Biafra militants who hijacked ship have released it

- The hijackers are reportedly still holding on to the crew members

- The Greek-owned vessel is being guarded by Benin Republic navy

A ship reportedly hijacked by pro-Biafra militants has been released although members of the crew are still being held hostage.

A group of supposedly former militants hijacked a ship off the Bakassi Peninsula coastline and threatened to blow it up along with its foreign crew if Nnamdi Kanu is not released.

The arrest and continued detention of the director of Radio Biafra has sparked protests in some parts of the country with the hijacking of the Greek-owned vessel being the latest attempt to get the government to release him.

READ ALSO: Army ready to combat pro-Biafra militants

According to Washington Post, Dirk Steffen, maritime security director of Denmark-based risk intelligence told Association Press that the ship sailed to Cotonou after the hijackers disembarked and took with them the captain, chief engineer, third engineer, the electrician and a fitter.

However, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, Nigerian navy director of information, told Daily Trust that the ship and crew had been freed. Via a text message, he said “the name of the ship is MT LEON DIAS (9279927). An oil tanker [sic], the ship is presently in Benin waters . . . off Cotonou Port and she is under the watch of the Benin Republic navy.”

Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar, defence spokesperson also confirmed that the vessel was being guarded by Benin Republic navy.

The Indigenous People Of Biafra and The Movement for the Actualisation of a Sovereign State Of Biafra have both denied involvement in the hijacking of the ship. The Nigerian military had also threatened to treat the agitators as criminals and that the Nigerian navy was on the trail of the hijackers.


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