Anti-piracy force nets 16 'pirates'

2010-11-23 16:05
Nairobi - The European Union's anti-piracy naval force said on Tuesday that they have caught 16 suspected Somali pirates in the past five days with the help of the Seychelles Coast Guard.

Also on Tuesday, the Polish captain of an oil tanker said gun-wielding pirates boarded his ship and fired shots in an attempt to hijack the vessel, but failed to capture the ship in the attack off the coast of Oman.

The EU force said in a statement that the 16 suspected pirates were captured in two separate operations in the Indian Ocean on Saturday and Thursday last week. The operation involved the EU providing aerial surveillance and the Seychelles Coast Guard making the actual arrests.

The Seychelles government said in a Monday statement that one of the suspected pirates died from wounds sustained during a gun fight. The statement said seven Seychellois fishermen were also rescued in the operation.

The statement also said Seychelles military aircraft were involved in the operation.

"These two operations have sent a clear message ... to the Somali pirates that are attacking our fishermen and our country; that you don't play around with Seychelles," said Seychelles' President James Michel on Monday.

Attacks

The last time the Seychelles Coast Guard was involved in an anti-piracy operation was in March. The International Maritime Bureau has noted that pirates are shifting their attacks away from the Gulf of Aden, possibly to the vast Indian Ocean where Seychelles is located.

The bureau's piracy reporting centre has said attacks dropped to 44 between January and September, compared to 100 attacks during the same period last year. Patrols by an international flotilla of warships has helped ease attacks in the Gulf of Aden this year, said the bureau.

Further out to sea, Captain Jan Masny said the hijackers attacked the ship on Sunday evening off Oman in the Arabian Sea.

Masny, speaking by phone from his ship, said watchmen spotted a skiff approaching their vessel and that everyone on board rushed into a steel-reinforced safe room. The Front Alfa, laden with crude oil, is continuing its journey to China. It is owned by Frontline, the world's largest oil tanker company.

Complicates vessel

Dag Christoffersen, managing director of V Ships Norway, the company that manages the ship, said five pirates spent two hours trying in vain to break down the safe-room door. Eventually a Turkish warship and a French helicopter arrived to help the ship but by then the pirates had escaped, Christoffersen said.

During the 12-hour ordeal, no one was in control of the ship. But the failure of the pirates to seize the officers meant they had no way to navigate the ship themselves since it is a massive and complicated vessel.

Somali pirates are holding at least 16 ships and more than 300 crew members captive for ransom. Somalia's lawlessness during the past 19 years has allowed piracy to thrive off its Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden coastlines.


Read more on:    seychelles  |  somalia  |  eu  |  somali pirates

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Top 10 richest musicians of all time

Check out the gallery to find out who they are!

 
 

Luxury living

10 of the most expensive things that will leave your jaw hanging!
Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Innovation, idealism, romanticism and other far reaching dreams can lead you into a spiral of enthusiasm and excitement. Somewhere...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.