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article imagePirates Die From Possible Chemical Weapons on Iranian Ship

By Christopher Szabo     Jul 14, 2009 in World
Pirates who hijacked an Iranian ship have become sick and some have died after coming into contact with the ships’ cargo. The 40 pirates hijacked the M.V. Deyanat in the Gulf of Aden.
The Sunday Times reported that the pirates became ill, suffered apparent skin burns and lost hair. The Director of the East African Seafarer’s Assistance Programme, Andrew Mwangira, said
We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship.
The ship, which is owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) was carrying a declared cargo of ”minerals and industrial products,” but officials are convinced the ship was carrying chemical weapons to extremist Muslim rebels in Somalia. The U.S. Treasury Department says the IRISL regularly falsifies manifests and other documents to circumvent U.N. sanctions. Mwangira added:
Our sources say it contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals.
The IRISL company has not only denied the report, but has threatened to sue Mwangira.
More about Somali, Pirates, Iran, Chemical weapons
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