In quick succession, we learned today of the capture of two new ships by pirates in the south-east of Oman, in one of the easternmost areas, the Arabian Sea, around the 15 ° of north latitude and 60° of east longitude. A group of pirates seems to have permanently established itself in this area, which is poorly monitored by international anti-piracy forces.
First of all, a Vietnamese bulk carrier, flying the Mongolian flag, the MV HOANG SON SUN seems to have been hijacked about 520 miles southeast of the port of Muscat (Oman). It has a crew of 24 Vietnamese and was not registered in the European base MSC(HOA) nor with its British equivalent UKMTO.
And a few minutes ago, the European Union's piracy HQ, Eunavfor Atalanta, confirmed the seizure by the pirates of a Syrian bulk carrier, MV KHALED MUHIEDDINE K, about 330 miles southeast of the port of Salalah, Oman . The ship, which flies the flag of Togo, was en route from Singapore to Hudaydah (Yemen) has a crew of 25 - 22 Syrians and 3 Egyptians. He was caught under small arms fire before the actual collision. "All contact with the ship is lost"says Northwood, Atalanta's HQ.
The milestone of 30 ships in the hands of pirates has been crossed. According to the latest Atalanta accounts, there are now 31 ships and 749 hostages in the hands of Somali pirates; 48 ships and 875 hostages according to the NGO Ecoterra.
Read also: The "Somali" Pirates: Conquering the East!