Chinese fishing boat hijacked off coast of Cameroon

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Location of the Bakassi peninsula (centre) within western central Africa

The Chinese embassy in Cameroon said earlier that a fishing boat was hijacked off the coast of Cameroon. Seven Chinese fishermen were kidnapped in the incident, which happened on Friday, and a group called the "Africa Marine Commando" claimed responsibility, according to an embassy official.

"We are working together with the Cameroon authorities on ways and means of seeking their release," the official said. The ship was hijacked "in international waters off Bakassi", a peninsula in southwestern Cameroon.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua quoted the Chinese embassy as saying that the kidnapped fishermen were being fed, and their lives were not in danger.

The Agence France-Presse news agency quotes a source close to the investigation of the incident as saying that authorities from both Cameroon and China "are working jointly to secure their release," and that the fishermen were on a trawler when they were kidnapped.