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Africa

Pirates seize small Dutch boat, crew of eight held hostage

Latest update : 2009-05-09

Somali pirates seized a small Dutch vessel on Thursday with eight crew members on board, the latest in a string of hijackings in the Gulf of Aden. Pirate activity has stepped up despite strong international naval deployment in the region.

AFP - Somali pirates on Thursday hijacked a Dutch ship with eight crew members in the Gulf of Aden, the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme said.

"Pirates seized a small Dutch ship with eight crew. It was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden two hours ago (around 0730 GMT)," said the head of the programme, Andrew Mwangura

On Wednesday, pirates freed a cargo ship carrying goods for Somali traders hours after another gang in the Gulf of Aden seized a German-owned freighter with an 11-member Romanian crew.

The latest incidents brings to at least 19 the number of ships currently being held by Somali pirates, along with at least 300 crew.

In the first quarter of 2009, 102 piracy incidents were reported to the International Maritime Bureau, nearly double the number during the same period in 2008.

Date created : 2009-05-07