For the first time since 2012, Somali pirates have broken their five-year abstinence of criminal activity when they hijacked a Sri Lankan-operated oil tanker on Tuesday morning.
Directly off the coast of Somalia, the large commercial vessel known as Aris 13 was seized by the Somali criminals, though NATO countries for the past few years have secured and prevented those particular waters from piracy.
Earlier in October, the United Nations did reaffirm that the Somali pirates “possess the intent and capability to resume attacks” if security becomes lax.
According to John Steed, the director of Oceans Beyond Piracy, the eight-manned vessel was transporting fuel from Djibouti to the Somalian capital of Mogadishu when it was ambushed by two smalls boats carrying a dozen men at the port of Alula.
The Associated Press attained a statement from one local, Salad Nur, via phone call early Tuesday morning. Nur reportedly said: “The ship is on the coast now and more armed men boarded the ship.”
“They have been sailing through the ocean in search for [sic] a foreign ship to hijack since yesterday morning and found this ship and boarded it,” Nur further commented, explaining that the Somali pirates never truly left their reign of terror. “Foreign fishermen destroyed their livelihoods and deprived them of proper fishing.”
As of now, Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry department is coordinating with European Union Naval Forces to coordinate the release of the eight sailors from the clutches of pirates. No ransom has been reported yet.
H/T: USA Today
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