soldiers from the EU’s anti-piracy

soldiers from the EU's anti-piracy

Halkaan ka akhri

BRUSSELS — A Chinese bulk carrier was hijacked in the Indian Ocean on Monday, the EU’s anti-piracy naval mission in the region reported, immediately launching an investigation into the incident.

The hijacking happened 550 nautical miles (1,000 kilometres) northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia, prime territory for marauding pirates.

“On indication of an attack an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operating from the Seychelles was launched to investigate the incident,” the EU naval mission said in a statement from its headquarters in Britain.

The ship was not registered with the Horn of Africa Maritime Security Centre, the statement said.

According to non-governmental observers Ecoterra International, at least 174 attacks have been carried out by Somali pirates since the start of 2009 alone, 49 of them successful hijackings.

Since last year a flotilla of foreign warships has been patrolling the Gulf of Aden, one of the busiest maritime trade routes on the globe, prompting pirates to operate far out in the Indian Ocean.

Experts had warned in recent days that subsiding winds near the Seychelles had attracted pirates, who generally launch attacks from so-called “mother ships” with tiny skiffs.

Pirates focus most of their attacks on transitional weather periods between monsoons when the seas are quiet enough for them to operate. This year’s summer season came later than last year.

Source:      AFP

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