Pirates seize Italian ship in Gulf of Aden

Pirates seize Italian ship in Gulf of Aden
# 11 October 2011 02:43 (UTC +04:00)
Baku-APA. An Italian ship carrying 23 people was attacked and seized by pirates on Monday some 620 km off the Somali coast, Italian foreign ministry confirmed.

The Foreign Ministry said it had activated a crisis unit to monitor the situation jointly with other international bodies present in the area including NATO, which has already sent a naval task force on the spot.

According to the Italian intelligence, the ship Montecristo had just been escorted by another Japanese boat into the Gulf of Aden when the assault took place.

State television Rai said the ship was controled by a vessel carrying five armed men.

Of the 23 people, 7 are Italian while the rest Ukrainian and Pakistani. The ship was heading from the Suez Canal towards Vietnam.

The Montecristo is the third Italian ship to be seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

In February, an oil tanker was attacked while in April another ship was assaulted in the Arabic Sea, both carrying a total of 11 Italian passengers who are still kept hostages as negotiations for their release hit a stalemate.
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