Two pirates fled with two hostages and remain at large.

A group of pirates were arrested and one was killed when the Nigerian army raided a hijacked oil tanker off Ivory Coast yesterday in the Gulf of Guinea.

Four pirates were captured and two escaped by boat in the nighttime raid on the Maximus, a Panama-flagged, Emirati-owned vessel.

The Nigerian sailors successfully retook the ship, however the two pirates who escaped reportedly took two of the crew captive and are believed to have escaped in a small boat following a tense hostage situation on the oil tanker.

India’s foreign minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted on Sunday: “We have rescued 10 Indians with the help of Nigerian Navy. We are trying to rescue 11th Indian and a Pakistani crew member from the pirates.”

The navy is still searching for the hostages. No ransom demand has yet been reported.

Rear Admiral Henry Babalola, who commanded Saturday’s rescue, told the Daily Mail: “We tried diplomacy, but they refused to surrender,” Sailors stormed the ship when one pirate opened fire, taking special care because the vessel is highly flammable, he said.

The pirates had held the vessel for nearly two weeks after hijacking it for its nearly 5,000 tons of diesel on February 11 in the waters off Abidjan, Ivory Coast. The event reportedly marks the third time the ship has been hijacked in the last five years in the same stretch of water.

Related links: 

Warning after sailing vessel targeted by armed pirates

Two German sailors kidnapped by armed pirates in Indonesia