Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Ship believed hijacked off Somalia

International naval patrols have been stepped up in the Gulf of Aden following increased pirate attacks. The vessel was en route to Mombasa, Kenya, when it was attacked about 500 kilometers (310 miles) off Somalia's coast.
The cargo ship is Danish-owned. Between January and February, only two pirate attacks were reported off the east coast of Somalia, according to the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy attacks worldwide.
Pirates seized a British-owned cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates typically use small boats with a limited range to attack ships just a few miles off the coastline.
"Recent activity suggests that pirate activity off the east coast of Somalia has increased. Attacks have occurred more than 400 nautical miles offshore.
Pentagon officials say pirates are holding 15 ships off the Somali coast and according to U.S. Navy statistics, pirates attacked four ships between Saturday and Monday.
Navy officials say about 12 to 15 coalition ships are patrolling in the Gulf of Aden and the off the coast of Somalia

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