Heavily armed pirates have seized a Philippines cargo ship off Somalia and taken 23 crew members hostage, a maritime watchdog said Tuesday.
“Pirates armed with semi-automatic weapons and RPGs successfully managed to attack and hijack the ship,” said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur. The nationality of the crew was not disclosed. Choong said the incident brought the number of attacks in Somalia’s waters to 83 this year, including 33 hijacks. Twelve vessels and more than 200 crew are still in the hands of pirates. Meanwhile a second ship chartered by chemical tanker shipping group Stolt-Nielsen was also seized by gunmen, nearly two months after they hijacked Stolt Valor, a chemical tanker on its way to India. “The ship has a 21-member crew. All are Filipino,” said Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers’ Association that monitors piracy, adding that the Philippines-flagged carrier is managed by Victoria Ship Management in Manila and is on a long-term charter to Stolt-Nielsen.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Reported as Pirates seize two ships from Gulf of Aden: