Officials: Somali Pirates Hijack Oil Tanker in Indian Ocean

FILE – Somali pirates are shown in February 2012.

(VOA News) — Somali officials say pirates have hijacked an oil tanker in the Indian Ocean and guided it to the coast of Puntland region.

Sources tell VOA’s Somali service that the ship is believed to be a merchant tanker flying the flag of the United Arab Emirates.

Regional officials say they are still assessing the circumstances of the hijack, which took place Monday.

Sources said at least eight suspected pirates were involved in the attack, adding that the ship moved toward the coast of Somalia in the vicinity of the coastal town Ras Asayr.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia has declined in the last three years.

Last year, suspected pirates hijacked two boats — one Yemeni and one Iranian boat — thought to be fishing illegally.

However, it has been several years since Somali pirates successfully hijacked a merchant ship.

At the height of the hijacking crisis in 2010-11, Somali pirates were attacking dozens of ships each month and receiving multi-million-dollar ransoms to release hijacked vessels and their crews.

The piracy off the Horn of Africa had an economic impact of $7 billion, with more than 1,000 hostages taken.

The attacks dropped off following a coordinated international response that included naval forces from NATO, the European Union, the United States and other independent nations.

International maritime groups warned last year against the return of piracy off the coast of Somalia because of increased illegal fishing activity in Somali waters.

1 thought on “Officials: Somali Pirates Hijack Oil Tanker in Indian Ocean

  1. Where is the anti-piracy mission that was supposed to guard this shipping route? This is the scramble for resources in Africa. Somalia has along coastline and plenty of resources to enrich not only Somalia but whole East African nations but unfortunately, they are keeping us in poverty by creating artificial problems like Alshabab and piracy to control our region and resources. My people are suffering from manmade famine. how come the Somali people are starving when there are plenty fish to feed and generate export income Somalia.

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