Iran Denies Seizing Korean Ship and Holding Crew Hostage
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A Liberian-flagged tanker has reportedly been hijacked today off the coast of Oman in the same general area of a violent but failed attack by a pirate action group yesterday.
According to a reports, a group of pirates have hijacked the MT Smyrni approximately 450NM South East of Salalah, Oman while transitting in the International Transit Corridor. The MT Smyrni did not have a security team onboard and so far we do not know the condition of the crew.
The hijacking follows a violent attack against a tanker yesterday in the same area and possibly by the same group of pirates.
According to the IMB reports, pirates in two skiffs armed with AK47s and RPGs approached a so far unidentified crude tanker underway and fired seven RPG rounds and more than AK47 300 rounds at the vessel from a distance of just 50 meters. Still, the tanker was able to evade a hijacking by taking effective anti-piracy measures. No one was injured in the attack, but the vessel is reported to have sustained damage as a result. It is not clear if the vessel had a security team onboard at the time of the attack.
The pirates in Wednesdays attack were possibly operating from a nearby mothership also reported yesterday just 16nm away from where the attack occurred. Authorities warn that the same group of pirates are still operating in the area and are expected to carry out more attacks.
IMB Report of May 9th Attack on Crude Tanker:
09.05.2012: 1000 UTC: Posn: 10:40N – 060:04E Around 345nm ESE of Socotra Island, Yemen (Off Somalia). Pirates in two skiffs armed with AK47 and RPG approached a crude tanker underway. At a distance of 50meters from the vessel the pirates fired seven RPG rounds and more than 300 rounds from AK47 firing upon the tanker. Effective anti piracy measures resulted in the skiffs aborting and moving away. No injuries to crew however vessel sustained damage due to the firing.
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