EU Naval Forces Capture 6 Pirates After Failed Piracy Attack In The Gulf of Aden

Oil Tanker
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European Union naval forces arrested six suspected pirates after they allegedly opened fire on the oil tanker Chrystal Arctic, registered by the Marshall Islands, in the Gulf of Aden.

The incident, which occurred in the waters between the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, raises concerns about the return of piracy attacks, particularly those from Somalia.

According to UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), the pirates, numbering between 5-6, approached the tanker in a small craft armed with firearms and ladders.

As the pirates started fire, the vessel’s security staff responded with defensive measures.

The pirates were forced to abandon their hijack attempt after an exchange of gunfire.

Despite suffering injuries of various types, the tanker’s crew remained unharmed.

However, the exact nature of the pirates’ injuries is unknown, with some accounts implying they may be related to the shootout. The actual cause has yet to be verified.

Following the failed attack, a European naval frigate operating in the area, Italy’s Carlo Bergamini-class frigate ITS Federico Martinengo, captured the suspected pirates.

The EU naval force declared that seizing the pirates was necessary due to the skiff’s dangerous condition.

The detained individuals are now being investigated.

This incident highlights growing concerns about piracy activity in the region, particularly off Somalia’s coast.

Despite earlier efforts to curb piracy, incidents have increased in recent months.

The International Maritime Bureau reported five incidents off Somalia’s coast in the first quarter 2024.

These attacks, attributed to Somali pirates displaying rising capability, have attacked vessels far from the Somali coastline.

Concerns have been heightened by recent hijackings of dhows and fishing boats, which serve as perfect motherships for launching strikes.

Piracy’s revival coincides with other maritime issues in the region, such as attacks by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on ships travelling via the Red Sea and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait.

These assaults have interrupted commercial navigation along important maritime routes, complicating safety at sea in the region.

As investigations into the recent piracy incident continue, officials remain attentive to the increasing risks of piracy and other maritime security issues in the Gulf of Aden and its surrounding areas.

Reference: AP

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