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Somali pirates hijack Greek-owned ship with 23 crew aboard

03-01-2011 14:49 BJT

NAIROBI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates on Monday hijacked a Greek-owned cargo carrier with 23 crew members aboard, approximately 420 km North East of Salalah in the North Arabian Sea.

European Union Naval Force Somalia spokesman Paddy O'Kennedy said details of the attack on the Panamanian flagged MV Dover which was seized early on Monday remains unknown.

"The Bulk cargo carrier MV Dover was pirated approximately 260 nautical miles (420 km) North East of Salalah in the North Arabian Sea," O'Kennedy said.

He said the vessel was on its way to Saleef (Yemen) from Port Quasim (Pakistan) when it was attacked.

The MV Dover has 3 Romanian, 1 Russian and 19 Filipinos, he said, noting that there is presently no communication with the vessel and no information regarding the condition of the crew.

The MV Dover was registered with the Maritime Security Centre – Horn of Africa (MSCHOA) and was reporting to the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO).

The Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, is the main sea route between Europe and Asia.

Tankers carrying Middle East oil through the Suez Canal must pass first through the Gulf of Aden. About 4 percent of the world's daily oil supply is shipped through the gulf.

The attacks are being carried out by increasingly well- coordinated Somali gangs armed with automatic weapons and rocket- propelled grenades, maritime officials said. The Horn of Africa nation has been without a functioning government since 1991, and remains one of the world's most violent and lawless countries. Combined Task Force 150, a naval alliance dominated by the United States and based in the Gulf of Aden nation of Djibouti, is patrolling an area within the Gulf of Aden to help protect ships from pirates.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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