Thursday, August 21, 2008

Somalia: Pirates add Iranian, Japanese tankers to their swag

Somali pirates are on a tear in the Gulf of Aden, adding a couple of more tankers to their growing captured inventory, as set out here:
An Iranian and a Japanese tanker have been reportedly hijacked by pirates off Somalia's coast while sailing through the Gulf of Aden.

The two tankers were hijacked Thursday morning between 10 am (0200GMT) and 11am (0300GMT) in the Gulf of Aden bringing to six the number of ships seized in the region in the past month, AFP quoted a maritime watchdog as saying.

"The Iranian and Japanese ships have been attacked by pirates off the Somali coast and have been successfully hijacked by the pirates," Noel Choong, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre said.

"We have notified the US-led coalition naval forces but we are unable to release the names of the vessels or give further details of the vessels as it's still an ongoing operation," he said.

"We call on the United Nations to take urgent steps to stop this menace as they are the only ones who can do it."
UPDATE: SOmali pirates have added a German cargo ship to their bag, as set out here:
Later in the day, a German-operated cargo ship, flying the Antigua and Barbuda flag, was hijacked in the vicinity, he said. No details about the crew were available.
He said the piracy center in Kuala Lumpur received a distress call about the German hijacking from a passing ship.

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