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article imageSomali Pirates Greatly Extend Their Area of Attacks

By Christopher Szabo     Jun 13, 2009 in World
A cargo ship has been hijacked off the Persian Gulf state of Oman, in the first attack of this kind in the area. The attack shows pirates have extended their area of operations dramatically.
The Motor Vessel (M.V.) Charelle, was attacked 60 nautical miles off the Omani coast, the BBC reports, saying the perpetrators are believed to be Somali pirates.
The report says the pirates are operating in a larger area than before, from the strategic Gulf of Oman to the Seychelles Islands in the southern Indian Ocean.
According to the BBC report, Lieutenant Commander Alexandre Fernandes, speaking from a Portuguese ship on anti-piracy patrol near the Gulf of Aden, said this was the: “First case of armed robbery outside the (pirates') normal operations area.” He believed they were ”probably looking for other areas of operations where there are less patrols by warships".
A U.S. Navy report said the pirates were able to increase their range due to larger mother ships. An attack took place as far north as the Red Sea. It said the gangs were currently holding 14 ships and more than 200 seamen in the region hostage.
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