Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Somali Pirates Seize 4 Ships in 24 Hours

Wives of Filipino sailors show pictures of their husbands Carlo, left, and Rodell,who are in Somali pirates' hand, in Manila, Philippines, 13 Apr 2009  Somali pirates have stepped up the seizure of ships along the coast of the lawless country. A Greek-owned vessel with 22 crew members was hijacked early Tuesday and there is word that a Togo-flagged vessel has also been seized. Monday, two Egyptian fishing vessels were hijacked, in a sign that the attacks will continue despite rescue missions by American and French forces over the weekend.

Early Tuesday pirates seized the MV Irene, a Greek-flagged ship carrying 22 crew members. A U.S. Navy spokesman told the AP news agency the crew is from the Philippines.

The ship was passing through the Gulf of Aden on its way from Jordan to India when it was hijacked in a rare nighttime attack, facilitated by the light from a nearly full moon. NATO officials say a Togo-flagged ship, the MV Sea Horse has also been taken over.

A day earlier, pirates captured two Egyptian fishing boats carrying as many as 24 sailors, according to Egypt's Foreign Ministry.

The attacks suggest that the latest wave of piracy in the area is not slowing, despite the fact that five pirates were killed over the weekend when American and French special forces freed hostages in separate operations.

via VOA News - Somali Pirates Seize 4 Ships in 24 Hours.

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