Greek ship seized by pirates off Somalia
AFP/US Navy/File – Somali pirates are pictured in 2008. A Greek cargo ship has been seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden …
ATHENS (AFP) – A Greek cargo ship has been seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia, Greece's merchant marine ministry said Sunday.
The MV Saldanha was on its way to Slovenia to deliver its cargo of coal with 22 crew members on board, a ministry spokesman said, without giving further details.
According to a BBC report whose details were confirmed by the British defence ministry, the ship was boarded by pirates who warned the captain of a nearby British warship, the HMS Northumberland, to stay away.
The Saldanha was reportedly sailing under a Maltese flag. The British warship is in the area as part of a European Union taskforce to combat pirate attacks.
Pirates attacked over 130 merchant ships in the Gulf of Aden last year, more than double the 2007 total, according to the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy and shipping security issues.
More than 150 suspected pirates were arrested by naval patrols in 2008.