Cameroon ship captain seized by pirates.

AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI…

AFP PHOTO/PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)

A Nigerian Navy spokesman says a boat captain was kidnapped by pirates as the Cameroonian vessel headed to neighboring Nigeria.

Kabir Aliyu says the captain was kidnapped and the boat returned to Cameroon with its crew and passengers on Sunday morning under Nigerian navy escort.

Witnesses say seven armed pirates boarded the ship Saturday. An official from the shipping company says no one was harmed. The official, who asked that his name not be used, says the captain was taken for refusing to pay protection money to the bandits.

Piracy in West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea has over the last eight months escalated from low-level armed robberies to hijackings, cargo thefts and large-scale robberies.

Source: Divine Ntaryike for The Associated Press.

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