End of monsoon season is bringing more aggressive activity by suspected Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean. But the US and other navies are hitting back, capturing pirates and sinking their boats.
The USS Nicholas returned fire on Somali pirates near the Seychelles, sinking an attacking boat, confiscating the mother ship, and apprehending five pirates. The US Navy has stepped up patrols in the Indian Ocean.
The attack by Somali pirates on the MV Almezaan Tuesday, in which one pirate was killed, highlights how more commercial ships are hiring private armed security groups for protection.
British Royal Marines and sailors from the Royal Navy Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose intercept a pirate gang in the Somali basin on Oct. 14, 2010. Cyber attacks, terrorism, inter-state conflict and natural hazards are the top threats to British security, officials said, a day before a major military review due to include deep spending cuts.
After four month ordeal, a North Korean tanker was released from the hands of Somali pirates on Tuesday reportedly after receiving a $3.5 million ransom.
Owners of a Greek-flagged oil tanker dropped a record ransom payment of $5.5 million to $7 million on the deck of the ship today, prompting Somali pirates to release the Maran Centaurus.
Pirates are now holding more than 10 ships and 200 crew members of different nationalities, according to maritime officials.
Lethal or nonlethal weapons? The attack on the US-flagged Maersk Alabama reignites the debate over how to stop Somali pirates.
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.