In world of piracy, Nigeria is new trouble spot

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Until recently off the coast of western Africa, the Ivory Coast's maritime surveillance brigade, or coast guard, struggled to keep a lid on crime in the waters around one of Africa's busiest ports.

But ruthless Nigerian gangs, which have expanded hundreds of miles beyond their home waters in the last three years, reached francophone West Africa's largest economy in October.

The spike in attacks is alarming Western powers, not least the United States, as regional governments struggle to cope.

"We estimate there is about one attempted or actual pirate attack a day ... with the chance of it going to almost two a day if present trends continue," Michael Frodl, head of U.S.-based consultancy C-Level Maritime Risks, told Reuters.

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