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Somali pirates hijack Indonesian bulk carrier with 20 crew members BRUSSELS (BELIGUM) - Somali pirates on Wednesday hijacked an Indonesian-flagged bulk carrier with 20 crew members on board, the European Union Naval Force - Somalia (EUNAVFOR) confirmed on Thursday.

EU Naval Force spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said the bulk cargo carrier MV Sinar Kudus was hijacked about 320 nautical miles (592 kilometers) northeast of the island of Socotra in the Somali Basin. It has a crew of 20, all of whom are Indonesian citizens.

"Details of the attack are not known at this time but initial reports from the crew stated that 30 to 50 pirates had boarded and taken control of the vessel," O'Kennedy said, adding that the vessel was on its way from Singapore to Suez in Egypt.

On Thursday, O'Kennedy said, the MV Sinar Kudus was used as a pirate mothership to launch an attack on the Liberian-flagged bulk carrier MV Emperor. "A skiff with five pirates on board was launched from the Sinar Kudus and attacked the Emperor but was repelled by the armed force from the merchant vessel," the spokesman said. "The Emperor was subsequently reported to be safe.

Somali pirates are currently holding at least 25 vessels and 567 hostages off the coast of Somalia, according to EUNAVFOR. The piracy monitoring group Ecoterra, however, says pirates are holding at least 42 vessels and 684 hostages.

Most hijackings usually end without casualties when a ransom has been paid. This, however, often takes many months. The longest current hijacking, according to EUNAVFOR, is of the Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1 which was hijacked on March 29, 2010 with 24 crew members.

In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships, taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom. Ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to reduce hijackings, but the anti-piracy force has warned that attacks are likely to continue.

According to a recent study, maritime piracy cost the global economy up to $12 billion last year, with Somalia-based pirates responsible for 95 percent of the costs.


Tags: pirates, hijack, Indonesian, freigher, Somalia


Posted in Crime @ 17 March 2011 13:12 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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