Greek ship seized off the coast of Somalia as US and Western coalition prepare to conduct patrols


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Greek ship seized off the coast of Somalia as US and Western coalition prepare to conduct patrols

A Greek ship with 25 crew members on board has been seized by armed pirates off the coast of Somalia. Andrew Mwangura, the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Programme (SAP) co-ordinator, said the vessel was sailing to Kenya when it was hijacked off the eastern coast of Somalia, the 13th such seizure by the pirates in the past two months. Using increasingly sophisticated equipment, pirates have stepped up attacks on merchant vessels in the gulf, increasing insurance costs for ship owners and raising the possibility of military intervention. The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) have reported more than 50 attacks or at tempted attacks in or near the Gulf this year, up from the 13 reported last year. The IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre described three large “mother ships”- two Russian-made stern trawlers and a tugboat – that officials suspect are coordinating at least some of the recent attacks. A spate of hijackings by pirates off the coast of Somalia has triggered the deployment of a multi-coalition naval force to patrol the Somali coastal waters. The US Navy said Western coalition warships and aircraft would conduct patrols to boost security in the Gulf of Aden.

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