African Press International (API)

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Africa: Somali pirates seize another tanker

Posted by African Press International on November 29, 2008

Somali pirateshave seizedanother shipin the Gulf of Aden, despite increased foreignpresence in the region.
Five pirates on fishing boats attacked a Liberia-flagged Biscaglia tankerand boarded the vessel witha ladder, Jean-Marc LeQuilliec,commander of a nearby French frigate, said on Friday.

Three crew members were fished out of the water by a German navy helicopter afterthey jumped overboard to escape the pirates.
The French frigate was escorting anothertanker andhad attracted at least 17 shipsin its wake seeking protection but the Liberian tanker had stayed onits course.


The piratesfreed a Greek freighter on Friday, leaving17 ships still in their hands despiteforeign warships stepping up their efforts tofight the piracy.

The pirates are still holding the giant Saudi oil tanker Sirius Star which they hijacked on November 15. A ransom of$25 million has been demanded by Sunday to free the vessel.

Undeterred by international actions since thesuper-tanker was captured, the pirates have continued to roamSomalia’s waters and beyond, seizing half a dozen ships over thepast two weeks.

With European, US and other navy ships rushing to the IndianOcean and Gulf of Aden, international shipping companies are hopingsafety can be guaranteedon the shortest route between Asia and Europe.

A detour via the Cape of GoodHope adds at least three weeks and significant extra costs for the shipping industry.



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