YAOUNDÉ: Nine Chinese and eight Ukrainian seamen were abducted in attacks on two merchant ships off Cameroon, sources said Friday. The attacks took place on Thursday in Cameroonian waters off the port of Douala, located at the apex of a gulf that has become a hotspot of seaborne crime. A Douala official said that a total of 17 people had been abducted, including “nine Chinese civilian sailors” from one of the ships. A Cameroonian security official, likewise speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the account. A navy source said the kidnappers “are probably Nigerian pirates,” adding that Cameroon’s security forces had launched a search for them.