Somali pirates seize Libyan cargo ship

The group said local reports suggested the hijackers were from Somalia's semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

Somali pirates seize Libyan cargo ship

Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden have hijacked a Libyan-owned cargo ship thought to be carrying 17 seafarers from Romania and Libya, a European Union anti-piracy force and a maritime group said on Thursday.

Kenya-based Ecoterra, which monitors shipping off Somalia, said the 4,800-tonne MV Rim was seized on Tuesday in the strategic channel south of Yemen. It said it was flying a North Korean flag, but was owned by White Sea Shipping of Tripoli.

"Her crew usually comprises 17 sailors and, based on outdated crew lists, it could be assumed that they are holding Romanian and Libyan nationalities," Ecoterra said.

The group said local reports suggested the hijackers were from Somalia's semi-autonomous northern region of Puntland.

"It is assumed the vessel is now commandeered to one of the Puntland pirate lairs," it said in a statement.

A European Union counter-piracy force said a coalition ship, the USS Porter, and a helicopter from the USS Farragut confirmed the hijacking, but had no details on the make-up of the crew.

"The MV Rim ... has now altered course and is heading towards the Somali Basin. Coalition forces will now monitor the situation," EU Navfor said in a statement.

Typically, the heavily armed Somali pirates hold captured ships and their crews hostage until ransoms are paid.

Earlier this week, maritime officials and pirate sources said a ransom was paid for the release of a Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship, the MV Filitsa.


Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Şubat 2010, 12:31
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