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Across the country, 80 rhinos have been poached since the beginning of 2012, more than half in Kruger, the country’s flagship park.

Last year, a record 448 rhinos were poached in South Africa.

NIGERIA

Pirates rob cargo ship, kidnap 2 from crew

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA | Armed pirates robbed a cargo ship at anchor in a Nigerian port and kidnapped at least two crew members in the latest of several attacks off Africa’s west coast, an international maritime watchdog said Wednesday.

The International Maritime Bureau echoed a warning this week by the U.N. that pirate attacks off West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea are becoming more rampant and violent.

In the latest attack Tuesday, eight Nigerian pirates armed with machine guns fired at a Curacao-flagged vessel anchored at Port Harcourt before boarding the ship, said Noel Choong, who heads the bureau’s piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.

He said the pirates robbed the crew before fleeing in a small speedboat with the ship’s captain and chief engineer. One crew member was injured, and another was reported missing, Mr. Choong said.

He added that it was unclear whether the missing crew member also had been kidnapped.

The Dutch-owned vessel, laden with refrigerated cargo, has 14 crew members from Russia, Ukraine and the Philippines, he said. He did not say which country or countries the kidnapped crew members are from. Nigerian authorities are investigating, he added.

Over the last year, piracy in the Gulf of Guinea - which follows Africa’s southward curve from Liberia to Gabon - has escalated from low-level armed robberies to hijackings and cargo thefts.

There already have been seven attacks this year off the coast of Nigeria alone, and there are believed to be many other cases that have gone unreported, Mr. Choong said.

GABON

New prime minister reshuffles government

LIBREVILLE | Gabon’s new prime minister on Tuesday unveiled a drastically revamped government lineup, dropping several stalwarts, including late strongman Omar Bongo’s foreign minister and son-in-law.

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