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MV Mississippi Star Attacked

Somali pirates hijack cargo ship in Tanzanian waters

Apolinari Tairo, eTN  Oct 01, 2010

TANZANIA (eTN) - Just a few days after the Tanzanian army intercepted a Somali pirate boat and captured one member of the gang, the pirates have attacked a Malta-registered ship on the Tanzanian waters some 45 nautical miles north east of the capital Dar es Salaam.

The MV Mississippi Star was attacked this week as it was sailing to Dar es Salaam, but the captain managed to divert and escaped the heavily-armed Somali pirates.

The vessel with 18 crew members was attacked by pirates firing automatic rifles and RPGs. It was sailing the Kenyan port of Mombasa to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam.

Not much detail has been available about the Malta-registered Mississippi Star cargo ship soon after the Tanzanian army launched a strong surveillance along the 1,000 kilometer coastal stretch of the Indian Ocean.

Latest reports from maritime sources in Dar es Salaam said Somali pirates are holding Panama-registered vessel, MT Asphalt Venture, that was sailing to South Africa from the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

On Sunday, the Tanzania navy captured a suspected Somali pirate after a gun battle near Mtwara port, an area where London-based, Africa-focused oil and gas firm Ophir Energy has an exploration vessel. A wave of attacks has been occuring from the pirates.

Somali piracy has been increasing off the lawless Somalia coast. Pirates earn millions of dollars in ransoms from shipping companies.

Somali pirates hijack cargo ship in Tanzanian waters
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