Sunday, December 11, 2005

Hijacked Ship Docks In Kenya

A ship held for two months by Somali militiamen docked on Saturday at Kenya's main port of Mombasa, a shipping agency official said.
The pirates fired a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) at the ship. This photo was taken by a passenger.
The MV Torgelow had sailed to Mombasa from Somalia's water, where it had been hijacked on October 7 on its way to deliver food products, cigarettes and other goods to businessmen in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, said Karim Kudrati, managing director at Motaku Shipping Agency. "We are very happy," said Kudrati, whose company manages the St Vincent-registered MV Torgelow. After being released last week, the ship docked at El Maan port near Mogadishu to deliver its cargo before sailing to Mombasa. Somalia has had no effective government since 1991, when warlords ousted a dictatorship and then turned on each other, carving the nation of 8.2 million into a patchwork of fiefdoms. Somalia has been struggling to re-establish a fully functioning government and end the reign of rival warlords. But the transitional government formed last year has been weakened by divisions that prevent it from operating in the capital, Mogadishu, and other parts of the country. Amid the anarchy, pirates for years have been attacking ships, mainly fishing vessels near its 3000-kilometre coastline. In the past year the attacks have increased, with pirates targeting ships carrying food aid, as well as at least one cruise ship. Somalia lies close to important shipping route connecting the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, where valuable cargo and carriers must pass.

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