One killed as pirates attack Agip vessel in Bayelsa

Yenagoa  (AFP) – Suspected sea pirates attacked a vessel transporting workers for Italian firm Agip in the Niger Delta, leaving at least one person dead, officials said Friday.

The attack on Thursday that saw gunmen ambush the vessel occurred in an area of Bayelsa state .

A spokesman for a military task force in the region confirmed one Nigerian man was killed. The vessel was said to have been transporting workers to an oil facility.

“The boat conveying some staff of Agip was attacked by suspected sea robbers and one of the staff of the company died when he was attempting to escape into the river and drowned,” said Lieutenant Colonel Onyema Nwachukwu.

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A spokeswoman for Italy’s ENI, the parent company of Agip, said the attack occurred Thursday.

“A speed boat contracted by (Agip) was attacked and stolen,” she said, adding that there were three people on board. She said a Nigerian national who worked for the company drowned while the other two were safe.

A 2009 amnesty deal greatly reduced unrest in the Niger Delta region, but sporadic incidents continue to occur, including robberies, piracy and kidnappings.

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