* Crew abducted from ship operated by France's Bourbon
* Piracy growing off West Africa's oil-rich coast
(Adds Navy comment)
PARIS Oct 17 Pirates off the coast of Nigeria
kidnapped six Russians and an Estonian during an attack on their
ship on Monday, the French company operating the vessel said on
Another nine crew members were safe after the ship reached
the Nigerian port of Onne in the oil-rich Niger Delta, said a
spokeswoman for Bourbon, which supplies vessels to the
offshore oil industry.
Pirate attacks are on the rise in the Gulf of Guinea, which
is second only to the waters around Somalia for piracy.
Attackers usually seize boats to steal their cargo then free
the crew. Kidnappings for ransom also take place in the waters
around the delta, the heart of Africa's biggest energy industry.
Pirates freed a Greek-operated gasoline tanker earlier this
month that they had hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea near Ivory
Coast. Fuel ships are a favourite target.
In August pirates attacked a Greek-operated oil tanker with
a crew of about 20 off the coast of Togo. They released the ship
a few days later after stealing 3,000 tonnes of fuel.
Nigerian navy spokesman Commodore Kabir Aliyu said his
forces were searching for the pirates involved in Monday's
(Reporting by Patrick Vignal; Additional reporting by Tife
Owolabi in Yenagoa; Writing by Tim Cocks; Editing by Andrew