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Posts Tagged ‘pirates’

World sea attacks surge with more violent pirates

April 15, 2011 Comments off

AP

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Sea piracy worldwide hit a record high of 142 attacks in the first quarter this year as Somali pirates become more violent and aggressive, a global maritime watchdog said Thursday.

Nearly 70 percent or 97 of the attacks occurred off the coast of Somalia, up sharply from 35 in the same period last year, the International Maritime Bureau’s piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur said in a statement.

Attackers seized 18 vessels worldwide, including three big tankers, in the January-March period and captured 344 crew members, it said. Pirates also murdered seven crew members and injured 34 during the quarter.

“Figures for piracy and armed robbery at sea in the past three months are higher than we’ve ever recorded in the first quarter of any past year,” said the bureau’s director Pottengal Mukundan.

He said there was a “dramatic increase in the violence and techniques” used by Somali pirates to counter increased patrols by international navies, putting large tankers carrying oil and other flammable chemicals at highest risk to firearm attacks.

Of the 97 vessels attacked off Somalia, he said 37 were tankers including 20 with more than 100,000 deadweight tonnes.

International navies have taken a tougher stance against pirates, with the Indian navy alone arresting 120 mostly Somalian pirates over the past few months. The U.S. and other nations have also prosecuted suspects caught by their militaries, although some were released as countries weigh legal issues and other factors.

Mukundan said the positions of some of the attackers’ mother ships were known and called for stronger action to be taken against these mother ships to prevent further hijackings. Pirates held some 28 ships and nearly 600 hostages as of end-March, the bureau said.

Elsewhere, nine attacks were reported off Malaysia and five in Nigeria in the first quarter.

Somali pirates threaten to murder more hostages after deaths of four Americans

February 23, 2011 Comments off
the USS Enterprise
Somalia pirates detained after Tuesday’s killings are being held on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. Photograph: Todd Cichonowicz/AP

 

Pirates in Somalia have said they are ferrying ammunition and men to the 30 hijacked vessels under their control, and threatened to kill more captives following the violent end to a hostage standoff that left four Americans dead.

The US military said that 15 Somali pirates detained after the killings on Tuesday could face trial in the United States. The pirates are being held on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise off East Africa. The FBI is investigating the killings of Phyllis Macay and Bob Riggle, of Seattle, and Jean and Scott Adam, of Los Angeles, who had made their home aboard their yacht Quest since December 2004.

Pirates hijacked the yacht last Friday and held the four hostage. When a US warship Read more…

UPDATE 2-Pirates shoot dead four American hostages-US military

February 22, 2011 Comments off

Due to the current instability and uncertainty of the North Africa/ Middle East crisis, one is sure to expect that pirate activity will only increase dramatically.  Keep your eyes on Bahrain, that is the key…

(Adds quotes from pirates in Somalia)

By Phillip Stewart

WASHINGTON Feb 22 (Reuters) – Pirates shot dead four American hostages on a yacht they had seized in the Arabian Sea, and a firefight left two pirates dead and 13 captured, the U.S. military said on Tuesday.

The sequence of events was not immediately clear, but the U.S. military’s Central Command said the dead hostages were only discovered after U.S. forces responded to gunfire and boarded the pirated yacht, known as the Quest.

“As they responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors,” the U.S. military’s Central Command said in a statement.

“Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds.”

The military, which said the incident took place at about 1 a.m. EST/0600 GMT, had been monitoring the Quest since discovering it had been taken over by pirates for about three Read more…