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28 March 2017 10:06 (South Africa)

Somali pirates seize oil tanker

Somali pirates are getting bolder and bolder. This time they have seized a Greek-owned oil tanker on its way to the US. Armed buccaneers boarded the vessel some 1,300km off Somalia near the Seychelles. The pirates have been going further and further from shore, deep into the Indian Ocean in search of victims. The Seychelles recently acquired US unmanned drones to help fight attacks in its waters. Earlier last month, pirates attacked a Hong Kong-flagged oil tanker some 400 nautical miles northeast of the island grouping, but the ship managed to escape. In January this year, pirates released a Saudi supertanker carrying a $100-million cargo of crude after they received a $3 million ransom. It was this attack, the biggest ship hijacking ever, that got international navies rushing to protect one of the world's busiest – and now most dangerous - shipping lanes through the Gulf of Aden. About 20,000 vessels pass through the Suez Canal each year. For the pirates, the money is great. And for now, the navies are losing badly. Read more: BBC, Los Angeles Times

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