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» 18.11.2009 - Nigerian fishermen flee Bakassi Peninsula
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» 12.11.2008 - 10 hostages freed in Cameroon

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Cameroonian militia threatens to kill hostages

afrol News, 31 October - Armed pirates have threatened to kill 10 crew members of French company abducted from oil vessel off Cameroon today if their demand for autonomy talks are not met by government.

A spokeswoman for oil services Bourbon said 10 kidnapped workers were among 15 employees on board the vessel "Bourbon Sagitta," contracted by French oil major Total, when it was attacked early today.

Local media reports said two allied militia groups from Cameroon's Bakassi peninsula claimed responsibility and threatened to start killing hostages if Cameroonian government did not meet their demands.

Cameroon militia commander Ebi Dari said his group and an allied militia seized six French, two Cameroonians, one Senegalese and one Tunisian from a boat off Cameroon's coast. He said they don't want oil firms operating in oil-rich Bakassi peninsula.

"We want to talk to the Cameroon government. If they think this is child's play, we are going to kill them in three days, one by one," Mr Dari threatened.

There have been a number of attacks over the last year against oil installations in the Gulf of Guinea, where the kidnapping took place.

A diplomat in Cameroon said the raid had happened near the Bakassi Peninsula, which is on the country's border with Nigeria.

Militants in peninsular have been claiming to be fighting for greater control over oil wealth in impoverished region, though opponents say they make money from criminal rackets and trade in stolen oil.

Earlier today, armed attackers riding speed boats boarded a tug boat at an oil terminal off the coast of Cameroon and made off with 10 hostages, French company that owns vessel said.

Attackers seized six French nationals, two Cameroonians, one Tunisian and one Senegalese, leaving five other crew members on the boat, said Stephanie Elbaz, spokeswoman for maritime services company Bourbon. None of the crew was hurt.

On Wednesday, Bourbon suspended operations in Bonny River region of Nigeria after armed men boarded one of its boats there.

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