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Posts Tagged ‘pirates:’

British couple freed by pirates ‘happy to be alive’

In Uncategorized on November 15, 2010 at 6:31 am

Somali pirates hijack sugar cargo ship with 24 crew: EU

In Uncategorized on August 6, 2010 at 7:20 am

BRUSSELS, Aug 6, 2010 (AFP) – Somali pirates seized a freighter with 24 Syrian and Egyptian crew members in the lawless waters of the Gulf of Aden, the EU’s anti-piracy force said, reporting the second pirate capture this week.


The Syria Star, flagged in Saint Vincent and Grenadines, radioed for help on Thursday and “reported that she was under attack from pirates who had climbed onboard and fired shots at the crew”, said the European Union NAVFOR Somalia mission.


Helicopters were dispatched and tried to establish contact with the ship, which was carrying a cargo of sugar, but they found only an abandoned skiff nearby containing fuel and ammunition, the force said in a statement.


“When warships arrived on the scene shortly after, the Syria Star had reversed course and was heading South East back towards the Horn of Africa under the control of the pirates, who refused to respond to radio contact.”


The vessel’s crew was predominantly Syrian and there were only two Egyptians.


It was the second pirate seizure this week.


On Monday, the sea bandits captured a Panamanian freighter with 23 crew from Egypt, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka in the Gulf of Aden.


A day later, a Spanish warship foiled an attack on a Norwegian chemical tanker off the Horn of Africa. The vessel was holding seven suspected Somali pirates pending possible prosecution.


This week, a Saudi insurance company said it would pay a 20-million-dollar ransom to free a hijacked ship and its 14-member crew held hostage for five months.


“The owner of the Al-Nisr Al-Saudi ship, which was hijacked by Somali pirates, said the insurance company has agreed to pay a ransom of 20 million dollars to win the release of the ship and its 14-member crew,” Arab News said on Monday.


The pirates had been torturing the crew of 13 Sri Lankans and one Greek as well as threatening to kill them unless the ransom was paid, the daily quoted the ship’s owner, Kamal Arri, as saying.


The tanker, he said, was not carrying any oil when the pirates captured it in the Gulf of Aden in March as it sailed back from Japan to the Saudi port of Jeddah.


Arri said his company had so far lost about eight million dollars as a result of the hijacking.


Foreign naval powers have deployed dozens of warships since 2008 in a bid to secure the Gulf, a crucial maritime route leading to the Suez Canal through which tens of thousands of merchant vessels transit each year.


But pirates have gradually extended their area of operations, seizing ships as far east as the Maldives’ territorial waters and as far south as the Canal of Mozambique.


Naval missions, including the European Union’s Atalanta deployment, have boasted success in curbing attacks but the number of hijacked ships and detained seafarers remains at one of its highest levels since Somali piracy surged in 2007.


Unofficial figures show 2009 was the most prolific year yet for Somali pirates, with more than 200 attacks — including 68 successful hijackings — and ransoms believed to exceed 50 million dollars in total.

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Source: SGGP

Danish tanker rescued from Somali pirates: task force

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:25 am

MANAMA, April 5, 2010 (AFP) – A Danish tanker escaped a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden after a French patrolling aircraft forced the Somali attackers to flee, the multi-national anti-piracy force said Monday.


The tanker MV Torm Ragnhild sent a distress call after pirates on two skiffs fired rifles and rocket-propelled grenades at it along an “internationally recommended transit corridor” on Sunday, the Combined Maritime Forces said.


A nearby French aircraft flew to the location where the Danish-flagged ship was trying to evade the attackers by speeding up, zig-zagging and spraying its fire hose, it said in a statement.


“The skiffs broke off their attack after sighting the aircraft,” it said, adding a Japanese aircraft spotted the pirates’ mother ship in the vicinity, identifying it as an Indian-flagged dhow named Safina Al-Gayatri.


The Turkish warship TCG Gelibolu shadowed the Safina as it carried the skiffs to Somalia’s coast, where the pirates abandoned the dhow, said the force, which is based with the US-Navy 5th Fleet in Manama, Bahrain.

A handout photo made available on April 4, 2010 by the EU Navfor Somalia shows the EU Navfor warship HNLMS Tromp (L) as pirate boats on April 2 try to make on approach on it. AFP photo

“Everything went like clockwork. The operation was professionally executed, and another piracy attack was successfully prevented,” said the task force’s commander, Singaporean Rear Admiral Bernard Miranda.


“The Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin is a huge area… Close coordination and cooperation is extremely critical to optimise the counter-piracy resources in the area,” he said in the statement.


The narrow escape came after a South Korean oil tanker with 24 crew members on board was seized in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday as it headed from Iraq to the United States.


Despite the increased international military presence off Somalia’s coast — Africa’s longest — pirates raked in an estimated 60 million dollars last year.


Alongside the European Union, the United States and other national navies deployed warships off the coastline in December 2008 to protect shipping and secure maritime routes in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

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Source: SGGP

Danish tanker rescued from Somali pirates: task force

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2010 at 11:24 am

MANAMA, April 5, 2010 (AFP) – A Danish tanker escaped a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden after a French patrolling aircraft forced the Somali attackers to flee, the multi-national anti-piracy force said Monday.


The tanker MV Torm Ragnhild sent a distress call after pirates on two skiffs fired rifles and rocket-propelled grenades at it along an “internationally recommended transit corridor” on Sunday, the Combined Maritime Forces said.


A nearby French aircraft flew to the location where the Danish-flagged ship was trying to evade the attackers by speeding up, zig-zagging and spraying its fire hose, it said in a statement.


“The skiffs broke off their attack after sighting the aircraft,” it said, adding a Japanese aircraft spotted the pirates’ mother ship in the vicinity, identifying it as an Indian-flagged dhow named Safina Al-Gayatri.


The Turkish warship TCG Gelibolu shadowed the Safina as it carried the skiffs to Somalia’s coast, where the pirates abandoned the dhow, said the force, which is based with the US-Navy 5th Fleet in Manama, Bahrain.

A handout photo made available on April 4, 2010 by the EU Navfor Somalia shows the EU Navfor warship HNLMS Tromp (L) as pirate boats on April 2 try to make on approach on it. AFP photo

“Everything went like clockwork. The operation was professionally executed, and another piracy attack was successfully prevented,” said the task force’s commander, Singaporean Rear Admiral Bernard Miranda.


“The Gulf of Aden and the Somali Basin is a huge area… Close coordination and cooperation is extremely critical to optimise the counter-piracy resources in the area,” he said in the statement.


The narrow escape came after a South Korean oil tanker with 24 crew members on board was seized in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday as it headed from Iraq to the United States.


Despite the increased international military presence off Somalia’s coast — Africa’s longest — pirates raked in an estimated 60 million dollars last year.


Alongside the European Union, the United States and other national navies deployed warships off the coastline in December 2008 to protect shipping and secure maritime routes in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

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Source: SGGP