Somali pirates seize Kuwaiti crude oil tanker

08:12, March 29, 2011      

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Somali pirates on Monday hijacked United Arab Emirates (UAE) flagged and Kuwaiti owned crude oil tanker, approximately 250 nautical miles Southeast of Salalah in the eastern part of the Gulf of Aden.

European Union Naval Force Somalia spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said the MV Zirku which was seized early Monday was on its way to Singapore from Bashayer (Sudan) when it was attacked. "The vessel was attacked by two pirate skiffs firing RPGs and small arms. The MV Zirku has a crew of 29, O'Kennedy said in a statement. He said there is no further information about the crew at present.

O'Kennedy said the MV ZIRKU was registered with Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa MSC (HOA), and was reporting to The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

The Horn of Africa nation has been without a functioning government since 1991, and remains one of the world's most violent and lawless countries.

Combined Task Force 150, a naval alliance dominated by the United States and based in the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti, is patrolling an area within the Gulf of Aden to help protect ships from pirates.

In its most successful anti-piracy operation on March 12, the Navy immobilized a pirate ship and arrested 61 Somali pirates who had been stalking merchant vessels in the Arabian Sea for more than three months.

Source: Xinhua
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