YAOUNDE, Aug. 16 (Xinhua) -- An unknown number of foreign sailors were kidnapped by armed pirates off the southern Cameroonian port city of Douala on Thursday morning, according to a source at the Cameroonian Navy.
The sailors were aboard a vessel in the Gulf of Guinea when the pirates attacked them. "We do not know the exact number of those who have been kidnapped. We don't also know their nationalities yet," a senior official at the Douala port, who asked to remain anonymous, told Xinhua.
The attackers "are likely Nigerian pirates" known to haunt the Gulf of Guinea, the official said.
"We are putting in place all efforts to secure their safe release. The navy is currently conducting the search," the source said.
Piracy has become rampant in the Gulf of Guinea located in the northeasternmost part of the tropical Atlantic Ocean.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, 62 seafarers were taken hostage or abducted in the area in the first half of 2019.
In July, 10 Turkish sailors were kidnapped by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea while they were sailing from Douala to Abidjan, the economic capital of Ivory Coast, according to the Turkish shipping company Kadioglu Denizcilik.