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article imagePirates seize Belgian construction ship 'Pompei' off Aden

By Chris V. Thangham     Apr 18, 2009 in World
The Somali pirates lost one ship but gained another on the same day. They seized a Belgian ship with 10 crew members in the Gulf of Aden.
The Somali pirates are getting busier day by day.
Dutch Commandos rescued one ship from their captors and freed 20 Yemenis, but had to release the captors because NATO cannot prosecute them as they do not have jurisdiction in the area.
The pirates captured the Belgian ship “Pompei” belonging to the Jan de Nul group. It can carry a crew of 19 but there were 10 people on board at that time. According to Alexandre Fernandez, a NATO commander traveling with a fleet patrolling the Gulf of Aden, the ship was captured last night.
Fernandez told Al Jazeera:
"We know that the ship has 10 crew members - two Belgians, one Dutch, three Filipinos and four Croatians."
The ship is used for installing rock protection on offshore pipelines, or for underwater rockberm construction according to the Jan de Nul group’s website.
The ship sent an alarm to the Belgian government’s crisis management center at 04:30 GMT to rescue them, and sent another one half-an-hour later. However, the NATO fleet couldn’t reach them on time.
The crisis management center is trying to establish contact with the ship through diplomatic and military channels, but so far authorities have not received a response from the pirates.
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