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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Somali Pirates Sieze Two More Cargos

Somali pirates have seized two more ships, throwing down the gauntlet to US President Barack Obama after he pledged to curb piracy.It brought to four the number of vessels taken since the US navy operation on Sunday which saved an American skipper but led to the deaths of three pirates, upping the stakes in the dangerous waters off the Horn of Africa.Pirates off the coast of Somalia, who took two ships on Tuesday, also attacked a US-flagged freighter with rocket fire and automatic weapons on the same day, but the vessel escaped with minor damage, the ship's owners said in a statement. The MV Irena, a 35,000-tonne Greek-operated merchant vessel, was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, the European Union's naval mission in the area said. The 22 Filipino crewmen are believed to be safe.

Hours later a NATO spokeswoman said a second freighter, Lebanese-owned and flying a Togolese flag, had been seized by pirates off the Horn of Africa, the 10th hijacking in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean this month.

They are angry with the US and threatened to attack any US ships passing that region.

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