Nine sailors abducted off the coast of Benin

MV Bonita, image via J.J. Ugland.

A Norway-based shipping company says that nine of its employees have been abducted from one of its vessels while it was moored off the coast of Benin in West Africa.

Shipping firm J.J. Ugland said the cargo ship, the Bonita, was attacked on Saturday by pirates 15km (9 miles) off the coast.

The crew’s identity and nationality have not been made public, but the shipping firm said the rest of the crew moved the vessel into the Port of Cotonou in Benin.

The ship was carrying a cargo of gypsum, a mineral commonly used as fertiliser, which was destined for Benin, the firm said.

While piracy has decreased world wide, West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea remains notorious for abductions by armed groups who usually demand ransoms for the safe return of victims.

Several abductions have been reported in the region in recent months, including eight crew members taken from a German-owned vessel off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish sailors off the coast of Nigeria in July.

Source: bbc.com

7 soldiers wounded in separate encounters with suspected Abu Sayyaf members in Sulu

Seven soldiers were wounded following separate clashes with suspected Abu Sayyaf men in Patikul, Sulu on Wednesday, a regional military spokesperson said Thursday.

According to Armed Forces Western Mindanao Command’s Major Arvin Encinas, the first encounter lasted for 50 minutes when operating troops of the 1st Scout Ranger Battalion engaged the local terrorists at Sitio Kan Mindang in Barangay Pangdanon.

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Source: gmanetwork.com

Multinational maritime exercise begins in Nigerian waters

by Lawal Sherifat

A five-day combined naval exercise has been flagged off in Nigerian waters. The maritime exercise, codenamed: “Grand African Nemo (Navy exercise for maritime operations) involves the participation of four Nigerian Navy ships and a helicopter.

The Exercise, being coordinated by the Nigerian Navy, according to a statement, Wednesday, by the naval spokesman, Commodore Sueman Dahun,” is aimed at supporting the efforts of regional navies to counter criminal activities in the maritime domain through different operational modes of planned exercises.”

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Source: vanguardngr.com

Mindef committed to Sabah, Sarawak security: Mat Sabu

Kuala Lumpur: The Ministry of Defence is committed to strengthening security in Sabah and Sarawak to curb external threats including transborder kidnapping, said its Minister Mohamad Sabu.

He said said the territorial sovereignty, security and prosperity of the people are a priority of the government. “Generally, the security of Sabah and Sarawak at present is regulated by operations by the military services namely the army, the Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force,” Mohamad was quoted as saying by defence news website airtimes.my on Wednesday.

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Source: dailyexpress.com.my

Iranian Naval Flotilla Begins Overseas Mission

Iranian Navy ships in Velayat-90 military exercise, by Mohammad Sadegh Heydari via Wikipedia

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Iranian Navy’s 64th flotilla departed the country’s southern coast on Tuesday for a mission in international waters.

The Iranian “intelligence-combat” flotilla includes a destroyer, dubbed Alvand, and the Bandar Abbas logistical warship.

The flotilla set sail for the high seas immediately after the return of the 63rd naval flotilla, which traveled 15,000 nautical miles in international waters during a 100-day mission.

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Source: tasnimnews.com

 

EU-funded exercise to boost maritime security cooperation

Through the MASE programme funded by the European Union, the Indian Ocean Commission organised the first MASE POLMAR 2019 wide-ranging regional exercise from 16 to 20 October in Madagascar.

The event brought together representatives of the MASE agreements’ signatories countries: Comoros, Djibouti, France, Reunion Island, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Somalia as an observer, International liaison officers and watch-standers from the Regional Maritime Information Fusion Centre and the Regional Coordination of Operation Centre, as well as a representative of the European Navy – EUNAVFOR.

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Source: neweurope.eu

Use legitimate routes: Marine police

LAHAD DATU: Those entering or leaving Sabah should use the legitimate routes, said Sabah Region 4 Marine Police Force Commander ACP Mohamad Pajeri Ali. He said this was a reminder to avoid mishaps and untoward incidents.

“We (Malaysia) has a system, exit and enter legally, for example there is a CIQ in Tawau or the Sandakan Port. But most use illegal routes from neighbouring countries, taking the easy way to run from the law without thinking about safety as anything can happen in the middle of the sea,’’ he said.

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Source: dailyexpress.com.my