Oct 15 (Reuters) - Cameroon military forces repelled a pirate attack on a fishing vessel off the Bakassi Peninsula near Nigeria, killing four gunmen and capturing three, the Ministry of Defence said on Thursday.
Africa’s Gulf of Guinea nations have been struggling with mounting threats from piracy and kidnappings in the area, home to myriad rebel groups and smugglers.
Here are some of the attacks that have taken place in the Gulf, which stretches from Angola to the south, around Africa’s central and western coast, to the Guineas in the west.
* BAKASSI PENINSULA — CAMEROON/NIGERIA BORDER:
June 11, 2008 - Pirates ambushed and abducted a Cameroonian official and five soldiers.
Oct. 19 - Cameroonian security forces fought off an attack by pirates in the waters off the Bakassi peninsula.
Oct. 31 - Gunmen saying they objected to the return of the Bakassi peninsula to Cameroon seized 10 crew, most of them French, working on an oil supply vessel.
March 14, 2009 - Gunmen attacked a supply vessel contracted to Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L), kidnapping one Ukrainian and three Filipino crew members off the coast of Bakassi, on the Nigeria-Cameroon border.
Oct. 10 - Cameroon military forces repel attack on fishing vessel Rose Three of Atlantic Shrimmer Ltd, killing four gunmen and capturing three. Former rebel leader says Bakassi Freedom Fighters were responsible.
* EQUATORIAL GUINEA:
December 2007 - Armed raiders in speedboats stormed two banks in Bata, grabbing cash and shooting passers-by.
Feb. 17, 2009 - Seaborne gunmen attacked oil-producing Equatorial Guinea’s island capital, shooting their way into the presidential palace before they were repelled by the security forces, backed by helicopter gunships. The government blamed militants from Nigeria’s Niger Delta for the raid.
Sept. 28, 2008 - Gunmen attacked the Cameroonian port town of Limbe, shooting their way into banks, killing one person as they fought off the security forces and made off with large amounts of money.
Jan. 24, 2009 - About 30 armed pirates seized a Greek fishing vessel off Kribi, killing a Greek sailor.
* NIGERIA OFFSHORE:
Jan. 4, 2009 - Gunmen hijacked a vessel belonging to French oil services group Bourbon (GPBN.PA) off Nigeria’s Niger Delta as it travelled towards a Royal Dutch Shell offshore oilfield with four expatriates.
— This attack followed a June 2008 strike against Shell’s $3.6 billion offshore Bonga oilfield that forced the plant, which has a capacity of 220,000 barrels per day, to shut down. (Writing by David Lewis and Richard Valdmanis; Editing by David Cutler)