Suspected terrorists are reported to have attacked two ships on the
night of Friday 4 September at about 8 pm, just some kilometers from
the Douala Seaport.
Six marines were wounded, three of them in a
critical state. The victims who are said to be all Cameroonians are
currently receiving treatment at the Douala Military Hospital.
to security sources at the port maritime brigade, four heavy fishing
boats were attacked by two speed boats which had about 30 occupants.
pirates who were armed with Kalashnikovs were unable to get into the
two boats: L -Cloex and Smyrna. They succeeded to get into two other
boats; Eratris and Ftemar Elizabeth I where they seriously wounded
Three others sustained slight injuries. In all, 13 cell phones, more
than FCFA 400,000 and other valuables were taken away by the pirates.
They also caused severe material damage on the vessels before
disappearing into the high seas," said our security source, who opted
to be anonymous.
The commander of the port maritime brigade, Joseph
Mbianda, told Eden on Saturday 5 September that thorough investigations
have been opened.
Eden also learnt that the suspected terrorists who
carried out the attacks were on two speed boats, each having 75
After the attacks elements from the Brigade
D'Intervention Rapid, BIR, and those of the Douala Naval Base are said
to have chased them but in vain. One of the officers who were amongst
those who were on a manhunt for the pirates pointed accusing fingers at
some neighbouring countries he refused to name them. And by press time
no militant group had claimed responsibility for the attacks with no
hostages reported to have been taken.
Friday's attack came barely months after another one still around the Douala Seaport
Wednesday 10 June 2009, a group of armed men onboard two flying boats
are said to have attacked four ships, one of which was carrying fuel.
The attack took place a few kilometres away from the Douala port
terminal. The armed men, who were about 20 in number and spoke English
during the attack, according to the victims, targeted four boats;
Sebastopol Bukhta, Delmas Bonny, Kelly Danielle and Ukrainian petrol
ship, Anuket Ivory which came in from Cotonou, Benin. The latter is
said to have been hired by a Cameroonian petrol company. The 11
Philipinos, a Russian and two other expatriates who were onboard the
petrol ship were robbed of their valuables.
The assailants are
also reported to have taken time to destroy all communication and alarm
systems on the ship. They are said to have made away with some of the
equipment as well as money, before disappearing into the high seas.
Commenting on Friday's attacks, officials of petroleum companies whom
Eden contacted said they were not comfortable with increasing reports
on attacks which chases away offshore workers.
The Golf of Guinea
and especially Cameroonian territorial waters is increasingly becoming
insecure. A similar attack took place in October 2008 during which some
ten hostages were taken and later freed.
including the then Divisional Officer for Kumbo Abedimo in the Bakassi
peninsular have been victims of such attacks. Questions are being asked
as to how pirates could successfully carry out such attacks in an area
that is said to be much secured.