PARIS – Armed attackers riding speed boats boarded a tug boat at an oil terminal off the coast of Cameroon early Friday and made off with 10 hostages, the French company that owns the vessel said.
The attackers seized six French nationals, two Cameroonians, one Tunisian and one Senegalese, leaving five other crew members on the boat, said Stephanie Elbaz, spokeswoman for maritime services company Bourbon. None of the crew was hurt.
The hijackers arrived in three speed boats, she said. She said she was unable to provide further information about the fate of the 10 hostages, citing a need for discretion.
The crew are all employees of Bourbon, she added.
The 213-foot (65-meter) Chinese-built tug, the Bourbon Sagitta, was designed for work with the offshore oil industry and is equipped with a firefighting system. It can take 28 crew, according to Bourbon's Web site.
The tug was operating in support of an oil tanker that was being loaded with crude, said French oil giant Total, which chartered the tanker.
On Wednesday, Bourbon suspended operations in the Bonny River region of the neighboring West African nation of Nigeria after armed men boarded on of its boats there. After spending several hours aboard the "Ajax," the men made off with material and crew members' personal property, a statement said. None of the crew was injured in the incident.