Friday, February 27, 2009

Pirates seize ship headed for Iran off Somalia

By INN Staff
A Russian cruiser is following a container ship that was seized by pirates in an extended firefight about 240 miles off the coast of Somalia, Russian military sources announced in a release.

According to the release, MV Straat Malakka, a container ship that was in transit between Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Bandar Abbas, Iran, was seized by pirates at 7:30pm local time (11:30am EST) some 240 miles off the coast of Somalia.

There was no initial mention of the country of registry of the vessel, nor of its contents or ownership.

Also, no information is yet available about the ship's crew or any casualties.

Early eyewitness reports indicate that an extended firefight took place between the crew and the attacking pirates. The Russian cruiser RFS Pyotr Velikiy is currently following the MV Straat Malakka, the Russian military sources confirm.

This is the latest in a series of pirate seizures in the region. A high-level summit meeting on international piracy is taking place this weekend in London, sources close to the State Department say.

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This is part of a foreign policy simulation for the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce. The events depicted are not actually happening.