Nigerian military: Pirates hijack police gunboat, kill 3 officers, kidnap 6 oil workers

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Nigeria's military says pirates in the country's oil-rich Niger Delta hijacked a police gunboat, killed three officers and kidnapped six local oil workers.

Joint Task force spokesman Col. Mustapha Anka says the gunboat and police were escorting a barge-load of oil for the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, which was not attacked. The attack happened on Friday on the Barbara River in southern Bayelsa state, Anka told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

The day before, the Bayelsa police command reported that six Nigerians working for Agip were kidnapped by pirates. Oil workers usually are held for ransom and released unharmed.

Piracy in Nigeria is aimed at oil theft and kidnapping for ransom and cost the nation some $131 million in the past three years, according to the Contemporary Maritime Piracy Database.