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Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pirates seize German-owned ship, 24 crew

Sun, 05 Apr 2009 16:36:44 GMT | PressTV


A Greek navy handout photo shows a navy commando detaining a speedboat with suspected Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, April 1, 2009.



Somali pirates have managed to hijack a German-owned vessel despite the international coalition of warships in the pirate-invested waters.

A German defense ministry spokesman confirmed reports of the container vessel's capture on Sunday but did not elaborate on the ship's origin, or the assailants.

The 20,000-gross-ton vessel had 24 crewmembers on board, the Spiegel magazine quoted a regional maritime group as saying.

Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program added that the ship was attacked off the southern Somali port of Kismayu, which lies between the Seychelles and Kenya.

Heavily armed bandits in the region have terrorized the waters, hijacking dozens of vessels in the strategic shipping route last year, taking hundreds of hostages and receiving millions of dollars in ransom.

The warships have helped reduced the number of successful attacks in recent months, but vessels still face attempts by relentless pirates on almost a daily basis.

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