Somali pirates seize Saudi tanker

18:53, March 03, 2010      

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Somali pirates have captured a Saudi tanker with 14 crew members onboard in the Gulf of Aden, agencies reported on Wednesday.

The development came after a regional maritime official confirmed last Sunday that Somali pirates have released a Greek- owned Panama-registered cargo ship which was hijacked in December last year.

Piracy has become rampant off the coast of Africa, especially in the waters near Somalia, which has been without an effective government since 1991.

Ransoms started out in the tens of thousands of dollars and have since climbed into millions.

An estimated 25,000 ships annually cruise the Gulf of Aden, off Somali northern coast. Over 10 ships and 200 crew members are still held by Somali pirates.

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