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Five of the hostages are Greeks, two Filipinos and one Ukrainian. One of the crew members was injured by the armed group.
The captain and seven sailors of a Greek tanker were kidnapped on Tuesday in Cameroon after an assault of “armed individuals” on the ship anchored in the port of Limbé, the Greek Ministry of Merchant Marine reported.
During the attack on the “Happy Lady” tanker, a Greek crew member, consisting of 28 sailors , was injured , the same source said in a statement.
“An armed group climbed aboard the tanker and ordered eight people from the crew, including the 45-year-old captain, to leave,” he added.
Five of the hostages are Greeks, two Filipinos and one Ukrainian , according to the ministry.
“We are doing everything necessary for them to be released and returned to their homes ,” Greek transport minister Yannis Plakiotakis said in a social media post. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis asked the minister to take the necessary measures to resolve the incident.
The Philippine authorities also ruled on the kidnapping of two people of that nationality. “The Philippine Embassy in Abuja, which has jurisdiction over Cameroon, is coordinating with the relevant authorities to ensure the safety of Filipino seafarers,” said the Philippines Department of Foreign Affairs.
The Happy Lady is an oil tanker with a load capacity of 51,390 tons and is owned by Eastern Mediterranean Maritime Ltd, based in Athens, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Ship attacks and kidnappings to request rescue are relatively frequent in the Gulf of Guinea , on the West African coast.
Pirates divert ships for several days, time to loot the holds, and demand significant bailouts before releasing their hostages.
Last November, an armed group attacked the Greek oil tanker “Elka Aristote” , a dozen nautical miles off the coast of the capital of Togo, Lomé, and kidnapped four sailors.
Three sailors were released on December 13 and the fourth died during captivity.
The investigation is ongoing, but “it seems that his death was not due to the conditions of captivity but to illness,” said a statement from the Greek shipowner.