Related News

Home » World

Fresh water for pirate attacks

SOMALI pirates have hijacked three vessels in less than two days, including a British-owned carrier and a Taiwanese ship, officials said yesterday, with the pattern of attacks suggesting the pirates are trying to evade warships patrolling the Gulf of Aden.

The Taiwanese Win Far 161 was seized early yesterday with 29 crew onboard near an island in the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, said a spokesman for America's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. It was the second attack in the Seychelles in a week.

A small Yemeni boat was hijacked in the Indian Ocean on Sunday.

The 32,000-tonne British-owned bulk carrier Malaspina Castle was also hijacked early yesterday in the Gulf of Aden, officials said.

The hijacking of the Taiwanese vessel and Yemeni boat are the latest in a series of attacks in the Indian Ocean. A 20,000-ton German container ship, the Hansa Stavanger, was also seized there on Saturday.

Analysts say the pirates have moved many of their operations out of the Gulf of Aden, which is heavily patrolled by naval warships from countries including China, the United States, France and India.

Instead, they are targeting ships coming out of the Mozambique Channel, an area of the Indian Ocean further south between the southeastern Africa coast and Madagascar.

Few details were known about the hijacking of the Malaspina Castle but the mixed nationality crew are believed to be safe, the European Union's Maritime Security Center for the Horn of Africa said. The cargo ship is Italian-operated, the center said. A Nairobi-based diplomat said the ship flies a Panamanian flag.

The Yemeni boat had seven crew on board when it was hijacked, an official with Yemen's Interior Ministry said.

Although small boats like the Yemeni fishing vessel do not fetch large ransoms, the pirates often use such boats as "mother ships," which tow the small speedboats the pirates use out to sea.

The mother ships also hold fuel and food for the pirates while they wait to attack more valuable vessels.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend