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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Somali: Somali Pirates hijack Jordanian ship

Somali pirates grad another aid ship, apparently unescorted, some 40 miles off Somalia, as reported here:
The vessel, Victoria, was seized about 40 nautical miles off the capital Mogadishu, said Andrew Mwangura of the Kenyan branch of the Seafarers' Assistance Programme.

"The ship was seized by the pirates at about 6:00 a.m. (0300 GMT) today in Somalia. It is now sailing northwards," he told AFP.

Earlier in the day, Jordanian Transport Minister Alaa Batayneh said the vessel, owned by a Emirati company, was carrying 4,200 tonnes of sugar donated by Denmark to the people of war-torn Somalia.

"It was going from India to Mogadishu when contact was lost," Batayneh said, adding that the crew included Bangladeshis, Indians, Kenyans, Pakistanis, Somalis and Tanzanians.

"The ministries of transport and foreign affairs are coordinating with the concerned parties to secure the release of the boat and its crew," the official said, adding that contact was being made with the Danish embassy in Mogadishu.

Mwangura said there were "at least 12 crew members on the ship when it was hijacked."

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