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article imagePirates hijack oil tanker off east Africa

By Owen Weldon     Mar 29, 2011 in World
Pirates in Africa have struck again, this time capturing an oil tanker in east Africa. Before the pirates boarded the tanker, they fired rocket-propelled grenades and guns at it.
The pirates hijacked the oil tanker, the united Arab Emirates-flagged Zirku, when it was en-route to Singapore from Sudan, on Monday. The Zirku was traveling in the Gulf of Aden, and there were 29 people aboard the ship. The EU Naval Force says that the status of the people are unknown.
According to Philstar, the crew consists of 3 Egyptians, 2 Ukrainians, 1 Iraqi, 1 Croatian, 3 Jordanians and 17 Pakistanis.
It is also not known how many barrels of oil the Zirku was carrying, but according to MSNBC, previous tankers that have been hijacked had oil that was valued at around $150 million.
Oil tankers are gold to Somali pirates seeking ransom, according to Reuters. The Somali pirates take their operations as far south as Madagascar, and as far as just a few hundred miles off the coast of India.
It was just a month ago that a U.S.-bound super tanker was captured by Somali pirates. The tanker was carrying an estimated $200 million worth of oil.
For the last two decades, Somali has not had a central government, and this allows pirates and gangs to hijack water crafts off the coasts of Somalia, allowing them to make millions of dollars in booty every single year.
More about Pirates, Oil tanker, East africa
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