Biz-novosti

IMO Secretary-General Urges Vigilance after Tanker Hijack


A firefight erupted March 16 between Somali maritime forces and pirates on board a hijacked oil tanker anchored near the Puntland coastal town of Alula, Sky News reported.

A security official said one soldier was seriously injured in Thursday's clashes.

Earlier, the hijackers have claimed to be fishermen whose livelihood undermined from foreign fishing ships in Puntland waters amid growing frustration against Puntland government for granting fishing permits to foreign ships.

The European Union anti-piracy operation in the region announced late Tuesday that the armed men were holding the crew captive and demanding a ransom for the ship's release.

Puntland forces tried to stop the boat as it headed towards the vessel where eight people are being held hostage. "'We are in constant touch with our Consul General in Dubai who has continued to monitor the situation of our crew", Dr. Silva said.

Families of the crew members have tearfully pleaded for the men to be released unharmed.

"Their main concern now is a possible rescue attempt, so that's why all communications were cut off in the afternoon", Bile Hussein told The Associated Press.

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Eventually, the pirates pulled their ransom demands and made a decision to leave.

Meanwhile, a bid to recapture the oil tanker held by pirates off the coast of Somalia has failed after hijackers opened fire on maritime forces. They don't normally kill hostages unless they come under attack.

The Aris 13, manned by eight Sri Lankan sailors, was carrying fuel from Djibouti to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, when it was approached by men in two skiffs and high jacked the vessel.

Nur, the local elder, said that young fishermen including former pirates have hijacked the ship.

The group said the Aris 13 was preparing to go through a route known as the Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island which vessels often use, regardless of the piracy risks, to save time and cost.

The 1,800 deadweight tonne Aris 13 is owned by Panama company Armi Shipping and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Equasis shipping data website managed by the French transport ministry.

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