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Pirates strike again

Pirates strike again
Pirates hijacked a Somali merchant vessel in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Oman, an official said on Friday.

The MV Awail was seized about 220 miles from the coast of the northern Somali

Pirates hijacked a Somali merchant vessel in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of Oman, an official said on Friday.

The MV Awail - owned by a Somali trading company called Barqawo - was seized about 360 kilometres (220 miles) from the coast of the northern Somali breakaway state of Puntland.

"The pirates hijacked the Somali-flagged ship on Thursday evening as she sailed in high seas between Oman and Somalia," Muse Gele Yusuf, governor of Puntland's Bari region, said.

The official said the pirates were now holding the ship about 270 kilometres from the shores of Puntland and added that the crew consisted of 13 Syrians and two Somalis.

He said a Puntland security force was sent to rescue the ship.

At least 63 ships have been attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia since the start of the year alone and almost half of them were successfully boarded and held for ransom.

The Gulf of Aden is one of the world's busiest maritime routes and under increasing surveillance from foreign warships, leading pirates to venture further out to catch their prey.

www.TurkishMaritime.Com.tr

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