Somali pirates extend reach —to Seychelles

Israeli security guards working for an Italian cruise line repulsed six pirates who tried to board a passenger liner April 25 in the Indian Ocean, near the Seychelles—some 600 miles from Somalia. The guards aboard the MSC Melody used pistols and firehouses to beat back the pirates, who sprayed the ship with some 200 rounds of ammunition. The ship carried 991 passengers and 536 crew, en route from Durbin, South Africa to Aqaba, Jordan. An MSC cruise line official told Reuters, “We use [Israeli security guards] because they are the best—and we’ve just had a demonstration of that.” (Jewish Week, April 29)

The pirates in the incident were later apprehended. The European Union’s Maritime Security Center (MSC) said the pirates were firs intercepted by a Spanish warship, the Numancia. The suspects, who were “in poor health,” were released for lack of evidence—but were later picked up by the Seychelles coast guard. “The capture operation was conducted in co-operation with a… French maritime patrol aircraft and a warship from the Indian Navy which also discovered an abandoned skiff not far from the scene,” the MSC said. (AllAfrica, April 28)

See our last post on Somalia and the pirates.

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  1. Somali pirates extend reach —again
    Somali pirates attacked an oil tanker and fired automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades Nov. 9 farther out at sea than in any previous assault. Pirates in two skiffs fired at the Hong Kong-flagged BW Lion about 1,000 nautical miles east of the Somali coast, the European Union Naval Force said. The tanker’s captain increased speed and took evasive maneuvers, avoiding the attack. No casualties were reported. Pirates have carried out increasingly bold attacks on vessels in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden in hopes of capturing ships and crews for ransom. They currently hold more than 190 hostages, including a British couple seized from their yacht last month. (AP, Nov. 9)