Somali pirates nab supertanker with Iranian wheat/updated
Posted by Charles II on November 19, 2008
Xan Rice and Richard Norton-Taylor, The Guardian:
Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden seized a Hong Kong-registered cargo ship carrying 36,000 tonnes of wheat to Iran yesterday in the latest of the near-daily attacks threatening one of the world’s busiest shipping routes.
The Delight, with 25 crew on board, was captured off Yemen, the seventh successful hijacking in the past 12 days. The US navy, whose patrols along Somalia’s coast appear to be having little effect on the pirates, said the ship belonged to Iran’s state shipping line.
A British tanker also came under attack yesterday, but the pirates were thwarted when the German frigate Karlsruhe launched a helicopter to intercept them. Eight or nine speedboats of heavily armed bandits attacked the British tanker Trafalgar, which radioed the German ship for help. It sent a Sea King and the pirates fled, the German navy said.
MEC reminds me to post another story, this one in The Independent, by Kim Sengupta:
The American security company Blackwater is planning to cash in on the rising threat of piracy on the high seas by launching a flotilla of gunboats for hire by the shipping companies….
Several security companies are rushing to the region despite the presence of British, American, Russian and Indian naval warships, among others, sent to protect ships. For fees ranging from £8,000 to £12,000 for transits of three and five days, companies are offering teams of unarmed guards, “non-lethal deck security personnel”.
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