Somali pirates seize three boats following hostage dramaApril 14th, 2009 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS
Nairobi, April 14 (DPA) Somali pirates have seized three ships - a Greek tanker and two Egyptian fishing boats - just days after US and French forces killed five pirates in two separate operations to free hostages.
The EU Maritime Centre said that MV Irene E.M. was taken overnight, but that the 22-man crew of the 35,000-ton Greek vessel was unhurt.
Greece’s merchant marine ministry said the Saint Vincent-flagged vessel was reportedly sailing from Jordan to India. It belongs to Pireaus-based shipping company Chian Spirit Maritime Enterprises.
Egypt’s foreign ministry said that up to 24 Egyptians had been taken hostage in two separate seizures of fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden Monday.
Pirates activity has picked up in recent weeks after a lull in activity due to bad weather.
Over 20 ships have been attacked in the last three weeks. Eight of those ships are in pirate hands, bringing the total number of ships being held to 16.
Almost 300 crew members are being held hostage.
A high profile attack came last Wednesday, when the crew of the Maersk Alabama fought off pirates who boarded the ship.
Richard Phillips, the captain of the Alabama, was held hostage on a lifeboat for five days until Sunday, when five snipers killed three pirates holding him.
On Friday, the captain of a French yacht and two pirates died when French naval forces stormed the boat, freeing four hostages.
Piracy experts have said they do not expect the attacks to deter pirates from seeking multi-million-dollar ransoms.
In 2008, pirates seized more than 40 vessels in and around the Gulf of Aden and collected tens of millions of dollars in ransoms, prompting the international community to send warships to the region.
Around 15 warships from the European Union, a US-led coalition task force and individual countries such as Russia, India and China patrol an area of about 2.85 million sq km.
- Indian warship thwarts pirate attack on Greek vessel - Jul 19, 2011
- US ship attacked by Somali pirates escapes capture - Apr 15, 2009
- NATO warship seizes 'pirate mother ship' off Somalia - Feb 13, 2011
- Indian Navy foils another piracy attempt - Nov 11, 2011
- Fresh pirate attack on freed vessel, India rushes warship (Second Lead) - Jun 15, 2011
- Somali pirates release Bulgarian-flagged chemical product tanker after four months - Sep 09, 2010
- Freed merchant vessel crew safely proceeding to Oman: Government - Jun 15, 2011
- Danish warship frees Pakistani, Iranian hostages - Jan 09, 2012
- U.S. Marines retake hijacked German-owned vessel off the coast of Somalia - Sep 09, 2010
- Indian Navy warship deployed near Somali coast to free sailors - Apr 19, 2011
- Pirate ship sunk by navy, Coast Guard in Arabian Sea (Lead) - Jan 29, 2011
- 'Fresh piracy attempt on freed merchant ship, crew safe' (Lead) - Jun 15, 2011
- Hostage crisis: Navy rushes warship to Somali coast - Apr 18, 2011
- Ship unresponsive, Indian Navy calls off escort (Second Lead) - Jun 16, 2011
- Indian Navy abandons escort of freed vessel (Lead) - Jun 16, 2011
Tags: bad weather, being held hostage, coalition task force, fishing boats, flagged vessel, free hostages, french forces, greek vessel, gulf of aden, hostage drama, maersk, man crew, maritime centre, maritime enterprises, merchant marine, richard phillips, somali pirates, three boats, three ships, warships