Somali pirates seize ship with 12 crew

September 25th, 2010 - 7:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Nairobi, Sep 25 (IANS) Somali pirates have seized a Panama-flagged ship with 12 Ukrainian crew in the Somali Basin Saturday, Xinhua reported.
The European Union (EU) Naval Force Somalia (Navfor) said the MV Lugela was hijacked early Saturday after sending a distress alert to its Greek operator, EU anti-piracy force said.

“The vessel was in the Somali Basin, approximately 900 nautical miles East of Eyl, Somalia. A short while later, the vessel altered course to sail towards the Somali coast. There has been no contact with the ship throughout this incident,” Naval Force spokesman John Harbour said.

He said after having transited through the Gulf of Aden, the MV Lugela was sailing towards Republic of Mauritius with a cargo of steel bars and wires. “The MV Lugela, deadweight 4,281 tonnes, has a crew of 12, all Ukrainian,” Harbour said.

Somalia is at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping channels.

The country has been plagued by factional fighting between warlords and hasn’t had a functioning central administration since the 1991 ouster of former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre.

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