Pirates are making headway off the West African coast – the Gulf of Guinea is second only to Somalia in terms of pirate attacks.
Pirates are now holding more than 10 ships and 200 crew members of different nationalities, according to maritime officials.
The Greek-owned Maran Centaurus was seized Sunday more than 800 miles east of Mogadishu fully loaded with an estimated 2 million barrels of oil heading for New Orleans from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Monday's thwarted pirate attack on the Maersk Alabama was the first time a large cargo ship with an armed security team were able to repel an attack, according to US Navy commanders.
Lethal or nonlethal weapons? The attack on the US-flagged Maersk Alabama reignites the debate over how to stop Somali pirates.
Armed guards on the Maersk Alabama helped repel Wednesday's attack by pirates. An array of nonlethal weapons – from acoustic devices to a system that fires nets or even golf balls – is coming onto the market.
Somalia is set to get 100 EU forces to help train the fledgling UN-backed government counter insurgents. On Tuesday, Islamist militants stoned a woman to death for adultery.
The Maersk Alabama, the same US ship attacked by Somali pirates last April, was hit again today. But hired guards repelled the attack.
Somali pirates attacked a Ukraine ship and Singapore-operated vessel with a North Korea crew. With the end of the monsoon, piracy is on the upswing.
Reports that pirates may want to swap a British couple they captured last week for fellow pirates detained by foreign navies have fueled speculation that the pirates are linking up with Islamist militants.