LAGOS, Nigeria — Nigeria’s navy killed six pirates and injured another in its latest attack to try to stop the outlaws from expanding their territory in the Gulf of Guinea, a navy official said Wednesday.
The pirates engaged the navy in a gun battle late Sunday off the coast of Calabar in Nigerian and Cameroonian waters, Delta state navy spokesman Lieutenant Delightsome Yohana said. Nigeria’s navy fired back, killing the six pirates. The other attacker is getting treatment for injuries while in custody, he said.
The operation is the latest in a string of victories that has amped up the Nigerian navy presence offshore and bolstered it with support from its air forces. In the last two weeks, the navy has killed 18 pirates in battles and arrested five, Yohana said.
Two days after an Aug. 15 hijacking in Nigerian waters, a joint team of ships and aircraft convinced the pirates to disembark from the tanker. However, the navy said a gunfight ensued and 12 of the 16 pirates were killed. The other four are in custody, Yohana said.
In July, the agency that monitors piracy said that while piracy is down in the rest of the world, the Gulf of Guinea has overtaken Somalia as the world’s new hotspot, according to figures from the International Maritime Bureau.