Pirates take two ships off Somalia

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali pirates have hijacked two more ships in the Gulf of Aden, bringing to 26 the total number of ships seized off Somalia this year, a Kenyan maritime official said Thursday.

Andrew Mwangura, head of the East Africa Seafarers Assistance Program, said the two ships were taken Wednesday near where a Dutch ship was seized on Monday. He did not have any information about the owners or the nationalities of the crew onboard the MV Leh­mann Timber or the MV Arean or any information on the pirates’ demands.

Cyrus Mody of the International Maritime Bureau confirmed the attack on the MV Lehmann Timber but said the bureau was still waiting for final confirmation on the MV Arean. Mody, a piracy analyst with the bureau, a specialized maritime crime division of the International Chamber of Commerce, could not provide any further details.

Piracy is rampant along the 1,880-mile Somali coast, the longest in Africa and located near key shipping routes connecting the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean. A Spanish trawler, a French yacht and several ships carrying humanitarian aid have been seized this year.

Somali officials have publicly blamed Western companies, accusing them of paying ransoms that can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars and, in so doing, encouraging more hijackings. Some pirates have been arrested in connection with the attacks, but that has failed to halt the hijackings.

Last month the United States and France introduced a U.N. resolution that would allow countries to chase and arrest pirates off Somalia’s coast. Somalia has no navy and is unable to police its own shores.

The impoverished Horn of Africa nation is awash with weapons and riven between quarreling warlords, a weak transitional government supported by Ethiopian troops and Islamic insurgents.

More in Local News

Everett’s Donna Witte at the Seattle Women’s March last year. Witte plans to join the Seattle Women’s March 2.0 on Saturday. (Courtesy Donna Witte)
Everett events part of national ‘March to Impeach’

“The main thing that draws me out is the realization I have been taking this democracy for granted.”

Outgoing councilwoman honored by Marysville Fire District

The Marysville Fire District in December honored outgoing City Councilwoman Donna Wright… Continue reading

Everett district relents on eminent domain moving expenses

Homeowners near Bothell still must be out by April to make way for a planned new high school.

Their grown children died, but state law won’t let them sue

Families are seeking a change in the state’s limiting wrongful-death law.

Officials rule train-pedestrian death an accident

The 37-year-old man was trying to move off the tracks when the train hit him, police say.

Ex-Monroe cop re-arrested after losing sex crime case appeal

He was sentenced to 14 months in prison but was free while trying to get his conviction overturned.

Marysville hit-and-run leaves man with broken bones

The state patrol has asked for help solving an increasing number of hit-and-run cases in the state.

Everett man killed at bar had criminal history, gang ties

A bar employee reportedly shot Matalepuna Malu, 29, whose street name was “June Bug.”

2 names released from recent fatal crashes

Both men were killed earlier this month.

Most Read