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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Somalia: Pirates take two more ships

First they grabbed a Greek cargo ship, as reported here:
Armed pirates on Thursday hijacked a Greek cargo ship carrying 25 crew members off the southern coast of Somalia, the Greek Merchant Marine Ministry said. The bulk carrier carrying salt, known as the Centauri, was en route from Ethiopia to Kenya when it was attacked by five pirates, who were reportedly directing the ship toward Eyl and were demanding ransom for its release.

All 25 crew members were said to be safe, Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau anti-piracy watchdog said in Malaysia.

It was attacked about 200 nautical miles, or 370 kilometres, off the coast of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, Choong said

He said the latest incident showed Somali pirates have expanded their area of attack from the country's northern coast in the Gulf of Aden to Somalia's eastern coast.

"If nothing is done to deter the pirates, we are going to see a lot more attacks," he said.
Then, they get a Chinese bulk carrier, as reported here:
SOMALI pirates this morning captured a Sinotrans bulk carrier, just hours after the seizure of a Greek ship of the same vessel type in Somali waters.

The latest victim is the 27,000 dwt Great Creation, with a reported 25 seafarers on board, including 24 Chinese nationals and a Sri Lankan master. The Hong Kong-managed unit was en route ex-Tunisia to Pipavav in India.
In another report, Spain is sending a maritime patrol aircraft to assist in the pirate hunt, as noted here.

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