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Somali Pirates

Somali Force, Pirates Exchange Gunfire

Somali maritime forces have exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime force said.   This is the first time Somali pirates have taken over a commercial ship since 2012 and locals blame the attack on foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, and are also angry with their government for licensing some of the ships.   "We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the director general of the maritime force in Puntland.   Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was untrue.   Residents near the ship, which was hijacked on Monday with eight Sri Lankan crew aboard, confirmed hearing the gunfire.   In their heyday in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks off the coast of Somalia, data from the International Maritime Bureau showed, and held hundreds of hostages.   But attacks fell sharply after crews put safety measures into place and regional naval forces stepped up patrols. By Abdiqani Hassan


Somali Pirate Hijackings Increase to 15-Month High: AKE

Somali pirates hijacked 10 ships in March, the most since December, 2010, and may attack larger merchant vessels this month, AKE Intelligence said, Bloomberg reported. Four of the seized craft were used to make more attacks, rather than being held for ransom, said Rory Lamrock, a piracy analyst at the Hereford, England-based security and risk-assessment company. “Pirate syndicates will be emboldened by the latest hijackings


Somali Pirates Release Hijacked Ship, Crew without Ransom

Aris 13 (Photo: EU Naval Force)

Somali pirates released a hijacked oil tanker and its eight Sri Lankan crew on Thursday, a Somali security official and the pirates said, bringing the first hijacking since 2012 to an unusually swift conclusion without the payment of a ransom.   The release followed a gunfight earlier in the day between the pirates and the marine force, and then intensive negotiations between the marine force, clan elders and the pirates.  


Somali Pirates Finally Release 'Albedo' Crew Hostages

Containership Albedo hostages: Photo ITF

The International Transport Federation (ITF) informs that 11 seafarers held hostage by Somali pirates for over three and a half years have finally been released, with the prospect of seeing their families once more after what is described as a 'terrible ordeal'.
 The seven Bangladeshi, two Sri Lankan, one Indian and one Iranian hostage were among the 23 crew on the Malaysian-owned and flagged containership Albedo when it was hijacked by Somali pirates on 26 November 2010 while 900 nautical


Hijacking Suspected By Somali Pirates

Map by Oceans Beyond Piracy

 Somali pirates are suspected of hijacking a bulk carrier ship on one of the world's crucial trade routes, Reuters reported.   The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations piracy watchdog said on its website it had received a report from a vessel under attack and possibly boarded off the coast of war-ravaged Yemen. It gave no further details.   However, a security source working at the Puntland Marine Police Force said the vessel was Tuvalu-flagged and is known as OS35


Somali Pirates Flee Hijacked Dhow, Taking Crew

Somali security forces rescued a hijacked Indian cargo dhow on Monday, but pirates took the 11-member crew with them when they fled to land, authorities said.   The Al Kausar vessel was seized earlier this month, part of a sudden string of attacks by Somali pirates after years without a reported incident.   "We attacked the Indian ship and rescued it but the pirates took away the 11 crew. We rescued two crew and they went with nine crew into the hilly areas between El Hur


Pirates Seize Somali Vessel to Use as Floating Base

Pirates have seized control of a Somali fishing boat to use as a base from which to attack larger ships, police said on Friday, a week after Somali pirates hijacked their first commercial vessel since 2012.   Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were dumped on shore, officials told Reuters.   "We understand that pirates hijacked the fishing vessel to hijack a big ship off the ocean," said Abdirahman Mohamud


Somali Pirates Hijack Indian Commercial Vessel

Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity, industry and security sources said on Monday.   United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of merchant ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden area, said it had received information that a dhow en route to Bosasso from Dubai had been hijacked "in the vicinity of Socotra (Island)".  


Counter Piracy Commander Warns of Continuing Threat

Admiral Bob Tarrant, Operation Commander European Union Naval Force Somalia (Photo: European Union)

The Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Bob Tarrant, has issued a renewed warning that Somali pirates are still determined to get out to sea and, if presented with an easy target, will attack. “I am very concerned that seafarers and nations will lower their guard and support for counter piracy operations in the belief that the piracy threat is over. It is not; it is merely contained," he said


Yemen War Adds to Shipping Fears in Horn of Africa

Photo: EU NAVFOR

Yemen's worsening conflict is contributing to a spike in piracy in the region, with Somali pirates taking advantage of a reduced international naval presence and more readily available weaponry to carry out attacks. "The regional instability caused by Yemen is important," Colonel Richard Cantrill, chief of staff with the European Union's counter piracy mission EU NAVFOR, told Reuters last week. Fighting between Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi rebels and a Saudi-led coalition has


Somali Pirates Hijack Iranian Fishing Vessel

Somali pirates hijacked an Iranian fishing vessel on Tuesday to use as a base to attack bigger, more valuable ships, the mayor of a Somali town said, part of an upsurge in attacks following years of relative calm.   Crews have let security procedures slip in recent years and travel far


China Transfers Three Pirates to Somali Authorities

OS35 (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A Chinese navy ship handed over three suspected pirates to Somali authorities on Friday, police said, underscoring the determination of international naval forces to stamp out a resurgence of piracy this year.   The pirates were involved in the attempted hijacking in April of the OS35


Maritime Piracy on the Rise -Report

In March fuel tanker Aris 13 was attacked by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

Pirates and armed robbers attacked 43 ships and captured 58 seafarers in the first quarter of 2017, slightly more than the same period last year, according to the latest ICC International Maritime Bureau (IMB) piracy report. The global report highlights persisting violence in piracy hotspots


Life Sentence for USS Ashland Attacker

Suspected pirates skiff burns after being burnt near the amphibious dock landing ship USS Ashland in 2010. (U.S. Navy photo/ Harry J. Storms)

A 31-year-old Somali man was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for engaging in piracy and other offenses in connection with an attack on a U.S. Navy ship seven years ago, the U.S. Justice Department said. Mohamed Farah, 31, of Somalia was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison for his


Armed Pirates Thwarted off Somalia

Boarding team on board MV Costina (Photo: EU NAVFOR)

A European Union counter-piracy patrol helped thwart a piracy attack close to Somalia’s east coast on April 22.   Late on Saturday evening, EU NAVFOR’s Spanish flagship, ESPS Galicia, received a SOS distress call from the master of Sierra Leone flagged merchant tanker vessel MT


US Sees Piracy Increase off Somalia Tied to Famine

Cargo ship MV OS-35 was recently attacked by suspected armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden (Photo: EUNAVFOR)

The United States is closely watching a recent increase in piracy off the coast of Somalia, a senior U.S. military official said on Sunday as Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited an important military base in Djibouti.   The rise in piracy attacks has at least partially been driven by


Somali Forces Clash With Pirates, Free Indian Ship Crew

Somali security forces clashed with pirates early on Wednesday and freed nine seamen kidnapped on an Indian cargo ship this month, officials said. The pirates seized the dhow Al Kausar off Somalia's coast, part of a surge of attacks after years without a reported incident.


Somali Security Captures 10 Pirates

file Image: (CREDIT / EUNavfor)

Somali forces who have surrounded pirates holding hostages taken from an Indian ship secured the surrender of 10 members of the band on Tuesday and enlisted the parents of the other three to persuade them to give up, officials said.  


India, China Navies Thwart Somali Pirate Attack

A Chinese navy ship supported by an Indian navy helicopter thwarted an attack by suspected Somali pirates on a Tuvalu-flagged merchant ship, India's defence ministry said on Sunday.   The ship, known as OS 35, was reported to be under attack on Saturday.  


Seized Indian Dhow in Vicinity of Hobyo, Somalia

An Indian registered cargo dhow that was hijacked by suspected Somali pirates on April 1 is now in the vicinity of Hobyo, a major meeting point of pirates when they were most active in 2011, the EU Naval Force said on Monday, giving a location for the vessel for the first time.


IMO Secretary-General Urges Vigilance after Tanker Hijack

Official photograph of IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim

In the wake of the recent hijacking of tanker Aris 13 off Puntland, Somalia, International Maritime Organization (IMO) Secretary-General Kitack Lim urged the shipping industry to be vigilant and apply diligently IMO guidance and best management practices to avert possible piracy attacks.  


Pirates Demand Ransom for Tanker Seized off Somalia

Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, are demanding a ransom for the release of the vessel, the EU Naval Force said.   The pirates seized the Comoros-flagged Aris 13 tanker on Monday


Somali Pirates Demand Ransom for Aris 13

File photo: Euronav

The EU anti-piracy operation in the Horn of Africa  region said that  Pirates are demanding a ransom for the release of the Comoros-flagged oil tanker Aris 13 seized off the coast of Somalia and the crew is being held captive, the AP reported.  


Somali Pirates Hijack First Ship since 2012

Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with eight Sri Lankan crew on board, Somali authorities said on Tuesday, the first time a commercial ship has been seized in the region since 2012.   Security forces have been sent to free the Aris 13, a regional police official said late on Tuesday.


MASS continues to support Maritime Anti-piracy Operations

Boarding team from EU Naval Force combat support warship FGS BERLIN stops a suspicious skiff. Photo courtesy Operation Atalanta

The European Council has extended the mandate for European Union Naval Force Somalia (EU NAVFOR) - Operation ATALANTA - until 31 December 2018, which means Cohort company MASS will continue to provide the Classified Mission Network for the enduring Operation.






 
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