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Archive for Monday, February 26, 2007

Pirates hijack ship off Somali coast, U.N. says

February 26, 2007

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— Pirates hijacked a cargo ship delivering U.N. food aid to northeastern Somalia on Sunday - at least the third time since 2005 that a vessel contracted to the United Nations has been hijacked off the country's dangerous coast.

The ship, MV Rozen, had just dropped off more than 1,800 tons of food aid in the semiautonomous region of Puntland in northeastern Somalia when the pirates struck, said Stephanie Savariaud, a spokeswoman for the U.N.'s World Food Program.

It was not immediately known if any of the 12 crew members aboard - six from Sri Lanka and six from Kenya - were injured in the attack.

Somali pirates are trained fighters, often dressed in military fatigues, using speedboats equipped with satellite phones and Global Positioning System equipment. They are typically armed with automatic weapons, anti-tank rocket launchers and various types of grenades, according to the U.N. Monitoring Group on Somalia.

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