Thursday, July 16, 2009
Somali pirates have abandoned an Indian ship after using it to attack an oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden. A European Union anti-piracy force said pirates who hijacked the Indian dhow earlier this week abandoned the ship Wednesday and left its 14 crew members unharmed. Naval officials said the pirates left the ship about 24 kilometers off the Somali coast. After hijacking the Indian dhow, the pirates used the ship in a failed attack on a Liberian-flagged supertanker on MondayThe EU naval force said one of its helicopters helped stop the attack. Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships over the last two years, often receiving ransom payments of more than a million dollars for a ship's release. The United States, China, NATO and other world powers are conducting naval patrols off the Somali coast in an effort to protect commercial shipping. The hijackings have tailed off in recent weeks because of monsoon rains in the Gulf of Aden and eastern Indian Ocean.