My Google Page Rank

Pirates take record 1,181 hostages in 2010

PDFPrintE-mail

NAIROBI, Kenya – Pirates captured a record 1,181 hostages in 2010 — almost all of them off the Somali coast — during a year in which hijackings and attacks became more violent, a global maritime watchdog said Tuesday.

Attackers seized 53 vessels worldwide in 2010, according to the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur. All but four were taken by Somali pirates.

"More people were taken hostage at sea in 2010 than in any year since records began" in 1991, said the annual report.

Pirates are using hijacked vessels to hunt ships from Mozambique to Oman, an "unprecedented" growth in range, said the report. Using hijacked vessels to catch new prey also made navies more reluctant to intervene. Pirates have sometimes threatened to kill their captives if attacks were interfered with.

The brief summaries of important attacks offer a rare glimpse into the struggle on the high seas.

Pirates firing automatic weapons and grenades attacked the MV Yasin C in April. The crew locked themselves in the sweltering engine room for more than a day while a fire ignited by a grenade raged above. The pirates eventually left after being unable to get into the engine room.

In June, the captain of a Panamanian cargo ship was killed in a shoot-out between Somali forces and pirates on board his ship. And in an October hijacking, a South African skipper risked execution when he refused to leave his yacht, the Choizil. He and the yacht were abandoned and later rescued but his two companions were taken.

The Somali attacks accounted for 1,016 of the hostages held for ransom, the center said. Somali pirates currently hold 31 vessels and 713 crew members of various nationalities after hijacking another four ships so far this year, IMB said.

Thirteen crew members were wounded and eight died in Somali pirate incidents in 2010, up from four who died and 10 who were wounded in 2009. There were no pirate killings elsewhere in the world in 2010.

Lawless Somalia's long coastline snakes around the Horn of Africa and provides the perfect base for pirate dens. The country has not had a functioning government since a socialist dictatorship collapsed in 1991, plunging the nation into clan-based civil war.

An international flotilla of warships patrols waters threatened by Somali pirates, particularly the Gulf of Aden corridor leading to the Suez Canal. Attacks in that area fell more than 50 percent, from 117 in 2009 to 53 in 2010.

The report attributed the fall to the presence of warships and more crews using recommended management practices. Sixteen hijackings were averted when the crew took refuge in a reinforced room, often called a "citadel" and fitted with two-way communications, food and water, the report said. But the area where ships are under threat is too vast to be protected by warships alone.

"If you're going to have a force to fight piracy, it's more sensible to do it on land than at sea," said Roger Middleton, a piracy expert at British thinktank Chatham House.

The weak, U.N.-backed Somali administration is too tied up fighting an Islamist insurgency to fight piracy. A series of corrupt and ineffective governments plundered government coffers, leading to widespread desertions when soldiers went unpaid.

Globally, there were 445 pirate attacks worldwide last year, a 10 percent rise from 2009, the center said.

Violent attacks and armed robberies were also notable in Indonesian waters, where 30 vessels were boarded. Bangladesh had 21 vessels boarded, mainly by attackers armed with knives at the port of Chittagong, while Nigeria had 13, mostly near the port of Lagos. (Associated Press Writer Sean Yoong in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia contributed to this report.)

By Katharine Houreld




Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Globe lands SEA-US cable system in Davao City; nears commercial operations

28 Mar 2017 Hits:50 Be the first to comment!

Globe Telecom successfully landed over the weekend the Southeast Asia-United States (SEA-US) submarine cable system, bringing the company one step closer towards the provision of richer and enhanced international connectivity to businesses in Davao and the rest of the country. “We are excited over this development since it won’t take long before we can finally address the rising demand for internet services from businesses in the Philippines,” said Mike Frausing, Globe Business Senior Advisor. “We are very near commercial operations.  Once it commences, the cable system will be able to provide greater route flexibility and better future support for bandwidth-dependent applications and services consistent with the growing trend of companies shifting their business critical operations to digital.” “The primary source of information [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Metro Manila residents feel safer; cops step up crime drive

28 Mar 2017 Hits:44 Be the first to comment!

At least 82 percent of Metro Manila residents feel safer in the streets due to the intensified police campaign against illegal drugs, a Pulse Asia survey shows. Pulse Asia randomly selected [...] Read more


SSS eyes mandatory OFW coverage

28 Mar 2017 Hits:43 Be the first to comment!

The state-run Social Security System said it is asking the help of lawmakers to implement the mandatory coverage of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) following its goal to expand its members’ [...] Read more


Students under SPES to help direct traffic flow - Jawo

28 Mar 2017 Hits:48 Be the first to comment!

The city government will use the services of students under the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) to help in the implementation of the experimental traffic rerouting scheme. Traffic coordinator [...] Read more


(For effective traffic scheme:) Illegal parking not tolerated

28 Mar 2017 Hits:52 Be the first to comment!

Authorities warned motorists anew against illegal parking, particularly in light of the experimental traffic scheme currently being implemented. Executive Assistant Jawo Jimenez said owners of illegally parked vehicles will immediately receive [...] Read more


(TFZ change of command set today:) Beng cites Uy for efforts vs terrorism

28 Mar 2017 Hits:51 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has cited Col. Juvymax Uy, outgoing commander of Task Force Zamboanga for his hardwork and efforts in maintaining peace and security in the city that resulted to [...] Read more


LIAC on transportation tackles traffic scheme, truck ban

25 Mar 2017 Hits:152 Be the first to comment!

The City Administrator’s Office on Thursday afternoon convened the Local Inter-Agency Committee (LIAC) on the Enforcement of Land Transportation Regulations to tackle pressing issues affecting traffic in the city’s main [...] Read more


Visually-impaired Dapilin graduates cum laude

25 Mar 2017 Hits:89 Be the first to comment!

A visually-impaired student from Basilan Province is graduating cum laude with a degree of Bachelor of Science in Education at the Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) on Wednesday, March 29. Abdulazis [...] Read more


Chides Magdalo men for being ‘cowards’

24 Mar 2017 Hits:118 Be the first to comment!

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday branded Vice President Leni Robredo as an enemy who was in a hurry to claim the presidency and described Senator Antonio Trillanes IV as “a [...] Read more


Globe equips Manila Science HS with 21st Century classroom

24 Mar 2017 Hits:91 Be the first to comment!

Globe Telecom and Habitat for Humanity officially turned over to Manila Science High School (MaSci) over the weekend a multifunctional Information and Communications Technology (ICT) laboratory with a collaborative working [...] Read more


WestMinCom troops honor fallen marine soldier

24 Mar 2017 Hits:96 Be the first to comment!

A fallen soldier from the Marine Battalion Landing Team (MBLT)-2, who was killed during a clash with communist rebels, was honored in a send-off ceremony before he was brought to [...] Read more


Six alleged drug pushers arrested

24 Mar 2017 Hits:94 Be the first to comment!

Six persons, including a minor, were arrested in a series of buy-bust operations conducted by the different police stations of the Zamboanga City Police Office (ZCPO), Wednesday. The Drug Enforcement Team [...] Read more


MGB-9 orders stoppage of illegal gold mining in Baliguian town

23 Mar 2017 Hits:90 Be the first to comment!

Local small-scale miners looking for gold ores were ordered to stop illegal mining activities in Pigbogololan area in the rural town of Baliguian, Zamboanga del Norte early this month after [...] Read more


Globe myBusiness gives tips to working in the comfort of your own home

23 Mar 2017 Hits:91 Be the first to comment!

Many business owners enjoy working from home, but there’s a challenge that automatically comes with it.  There are certainly many perks, like being in charge of your own time, dressing [...] Read more


Cocolisap funds await PCA, City Hall coordination gab

22 Mar 2017 Hits:84 Be the first to comment!

Funds to rehabilitate the coconut industry following the cocolisap devastation cannot be released as of yet until after the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) regional office 9 and the city government [...] Read more


Koko sees okay of free internet access, six key bills this year

22 Mar 2017 Hits:128 Be the first to comment!

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said Congress is expected to approve this year the bill on free internet access in all public places and six other key priority measures [...] Read more


Ateneo shines anew in Physician Licensure Exam

22 Mar 2017 Hits:132 Be the first to comment!

The Ateneo de Zamboanga University School of Medicine (ADZU-SOM) once again came up with an impressive performance during the recent Physician Licensure Examination (PLE) given by the Board of Medicine [...] Read more


Globe At Home Customers Meet the Cast of Wicked

21 Mar 2017 Hits:93 Be the first to comment!

The year is just beginning, but one of the highlights of 2017 is the staging of the Wicked, the West End musical, which transformed the Theatre at Solaire into the [...] Read more


Zambo harvests 80 gold medals in ZPRAA

21 Mar 2017 Hits:114 Be the first to comment!

The Zamboanga delegation ranked second in the secondary level and third in the elementary level in the recently concluded Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Athletic Association (ZPRAA) meet held in Dipolog City [...] Read more