Monday, April 6, 2009

Somali pirates hijack British-owned ship


Medeshi
Somali pirates hijack British-owned ship
Mon Apr 6, 2009
NAIROBI (Reuters) - Somali pirates seized a British-owned ship operated by an Italian company on Monday, after taking three other ships over the weekend, a maritime official said.
A Taiwanese fishing vessel could also have been taken near the Seychelles on Monday, he said.
"A 32,000-tonne bulker was seized early this morning. It is UK-owned but operated by Italians. The crew is mixed but we are not sure of their nationalities," said Andrew Mwangura of the Mombasa-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme.
The British vessel was named as the Malaspina Castle.
"I hear they have also captured a Taiwanese fishing vessel near the Seychelles," he told Reuters.
Pirates also seized a French yacht, a Yemeni tug and the Hansa Stavanger, a 20,000-tonne German container vessel, over the weekend, despite the presence of foreign warships that have been sent to the region to deter the pirates.
Heavily armed gangs from the lawless Horn of Africa nation hijacked dozens of vessels there and in the strategic Gulf of Aden last year, taking hundreds of sailors hostage and taking millions of dollars in ransoms.

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