Pirates kidnap two from US oil ship on major commodities trade route

Pirates have attacked a US oil supply ship on a major global commodities trade route in the Gulf of Guinea, kidnapping two American crew members.

The U.S.-flagged C-Retriever, a 67 m vessel was attacked early on Wednesday, according to UK-based security firm AKE.

US Navy officials are increasingly concerned about pirate attacks off the coast of West Africa, which are up by a third in 2013.

"The piracy threat is spreading even further through the waters of West Africa, and the attacks have been mounting, even as global rates of reported piracy are at their lowest since 2006," said Michael Frodl of consultancy C-Level Maritime Risks.

West Africa is now called a "hot-spot" for piracy, as many ships anchor with little protection, unlike the armed vessels that are now commonplace in the notorious waters in East Africa off the coast of Somalia, and the Horn of Africa.

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