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Somali Pirates Seize Four More Ships in 24 Hours

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 14, 2009 in World
Just after three Somali pirates were shot dead by the US Navy, the pirates are at it again -- they have seized four ships in less than 24 hours.
The pirates are unfazed and have stepped up their piracy acts even more after the incident with the US naval forces and the French government.
The Somalis have captured a Greek-owned cargo vessel MV Irene with 22 crew members early Tuesday, with most of the crew hailing from Philippines. It was on its way to India from Jordan.
Soon after, pirates nabbed Togo-flagged ship, the MV Sea Horse.
A day before they captured two Egyptian fishing boats carrying as many as 24 sailors, according to Egypt’s Foreign Ministry.
After the US Naval forces killed three pirates and captured the fourth pirate, the pirates vowed revenge especially against US and French citizens. It is not clear whether that incident has escalated this situation.
US President Barack Obama said the U.S. government is committed to fighting piracy and the U.S. military is considering options to attack the pirates at the coastal areas. Defense Secretary Robert Gates however said economic improvements within Somalia will be important to stop the attacks.
The Somali pirates already hold dozen ships with more than 200 crew members.
Another notable piracy victim is the World Food Program, which is trying to distribute food to the poor in war-torn Somalia. Around 90 percent of the food aid comes from the sea.
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