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|Pirates Seize Yemeni Ship Carrying 2000 tons of Diesel|
Fuad Rajeh ( YEMEN POST STAFF )
Article Date: January 05, 2009
Almost a week after the release of two Yemeni fishing boats, seized by Somali pirates early in December, a Yemeni ship, carrying more than 2000 tons of diesel, was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea en route to the Nashtoon port in the province of Mahra.
Authorities are currently contacting the pirates to release the ship.
The ship was the fourth Yemeni vessel seized by pirates in several months.
Early in December, Somali pirates hijacked two Yemeni fishing boats in the Gulf of Aden along with 18 fishermen. The two boats and 18 fishermen were freed without ransoms. According to the freed fishermen, the aim of seizing the boats was to use them for carrying out pirate attacks.
In relation to pirate attacks off Somalia's coast and in the Gulf of Aden, two days ago, Somali pirates captured an Egyptian cargo ship, but they failed to take over an Indian vessel as one of the Malaysian helicopters at the Malaysian fleet stationed in the Gulf of Aden intervened and rescued the vessel.
Almost 8 ships and boats were hijacked by Somali pirates so far in the last month bringing the number of vessels captured by pirates in the area over the last year to more than 100 ships.
Many ships are still held by pirates as they are demanding ransoms.
Stepping up pirate attacks, Somali pirates have brought in millions of dollars in ransoms which they received from owners of ships they hijacked.In response to the phenomenon soaring in an unprecedented way, many countries have sent warships to conduct anti-pirate patrols. Maritime piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's coast is threatening one of the world's busiest sea lanes through which almost 20000 vessels pass a year.