How the So­mali pi­rates have op­er­ated this year

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - NEWS -

SO­MALI pi­rates in­ten­si­fied attacks from their coast and were re­spon­si­ble for 44 per­cent of the 289 pirate attacks on the oceans in the first nine months of this year, says a re­port by the In­ter­na­tional Cham­ber of Com­merce In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Bureau.

Car­ry­ing out 35 of the 39 ship hi­jack­ings world­wide from Jan­uary to Septem­ber, So­mali pi­rates used fish­ing ves­sels to reach as far as the south­ern Red Sea, where they hi­jacked a chem­i­cal tanker in July, the first such hi­jack­ing recorded in the area.

Pi­rates are heav­ily armed with au­to­matic weapons and rocket pro­pelled grenades. The bureau’s Piracy Re­port­ing Cen­tre fig­ures show that in the past nine months pi­rates boarded 128 ships and fired at 52.

A to­tal of 70 ves­sels re­ported they had thwarted attacks.

Pi­rates used guns in 137 in­ci­dents and knives in 66, killing one crew mem­ber, in­jur­ing 27 and tak­ing 773 hostages in this piracy hotspot. The level of hi­jack­ings re­mained sim­i­lar to that of last year.

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