Pirates have seized an oil tanker off the coast of Nigeria. The MT Halifax was attacked off the coast of Port Harcourt, and an unknown number of foreign crew-members are being held.
The MT Halifax is a Maltese-flagged vessel. It is the latest in a series of oil tankers to be seized by pirates, who often attempt to offload the oil cargo and charge a ransom for both the oil and the captured crew-members. In many cases, they leave the actual boat abandoned.
Piracy has been a problem off the coast of Africa for many years. While it was initially just in the area off the coast of Somalia that pirates were known to strike, Somali militants and other African groups are now active in many areas.