The U.S. Navy says Somali pirates have hijacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker off the Kenyan coast.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, says the pirates hijacked the vessel Saturday. The tanker is owned by Saudi oil company Aramco and was sailing under a Liberian flag.
Christensen says the pirates took control of the ship 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya. He spoke Monday by phone from the 5th Fleet’s Bahrain headquarters.
Link to Fox News:
From the BBC
Pirates have taken control of a Saudi-owned oil tanker in the Indian Ocean off the Kenyan coast, the US Navy says.
The tanker was seized 450 nautical miles south-east of the port of Mombasa, a US Navy spokesman said.
Twenty five crew are said to be on board, including members from Croatia, the UK, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia.
The Sirius Star made its maiden voyage in March of this year
Read the rest:
The U.S. Fifth Fleet said in a release that pirates attacked the Sirius Star, a Liberian-flagged crude tanker owned by Saudi Aramco, the kingdom’s state oil company. It said the ship was operated by Vela International and had a crew of 25, including citizens of Croatia, the U.K., the Philippines, and Saudi Arabia.
By Barbara Surk
The Associated Press
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (Nov. 17) – Somali pirates hijacked a supertanker hundreds of miles off the Horn of Africa, seizing the Saudi-owned ship loaded with crude and its 25-member crew, the U.S. Navy said Monday.
It appeared to be the largest ship ever seized by pirates.
After the brazen hijacking, the pirates on Monday sailed the Sirius Star to a Somali port that has become a haven for bandits and the ships they have seized, a Navy spokesman said.
The hijacking was among the most brazen in a surge in attacks this year by ransom-hungry Somali pirates. Attacks off the Somali coast have increased more than 75 percent this year, and even the world’s largest vessels are vulnerable.
The Sirius Star, commissioned in March and owned by the Saudi oil company Aramco, is 1,080 feet long — about the length of an aircraft carrier — making it one of the largest ships to sail the seas. It can carry about 2 million barrels of oil.
Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, said the pirates hijacked the ship on Saturday about 450 nautical miles off the coast of Kenya — the farthest out to sea Somali pirates have struck.
By expanding their range, Somali pirates are “certainly a threat to many more vessels,” Christensen said. He said the pirates on the Sirius Star were “nearing an anchorage point” at the Somali port town of Eylon Monday.
Somali pirates have seized at least six several ships off the Horn of Africa in the past week, but the hijacking of a supertanker marked a dramatic escalation.
The pirates are trained fighters, often dressed in military fatigues, using speedboats equipped with satellite phones and GPS equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rockets launchers and various types of grenades.
Read the rest:
Who Are These Somali Pirates?By Robyn Hunter
“No information today. No comment,” a Somali pirate shouts over the sound of breaking waves, before abruptly ending the satellite telephone call.
He sounds uptight – anxious to see if a multi-million dollar ransom demand will be met.
He is on board the hijacked Ukrainian vessel, MV Faina – the ship laden with 33 Russian battle tanks that has highlighted the problem of piracy off the Somali coast since it was captured almost a month ago.
But who are these modern-day pirates?
According to residents in the Somali region of Puntland where most of the pirates come from, they live a lavish life.
“They have money; they have power and they are getting stronger by the day,” says Abdi Farah Juha who lives in the regional capital, Garowe.
They wed the most beautiful girls; they are building big houses; they have new cars; new guns,” he says.
“Piracy in many ways is socially acceptable. They have become fashionable.”
Most of them are aged between 20 and 35 years – in it for the money.
And the rewards they receive are rich in a country where….
Read the rest: