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Breaking News Seteembar 27, 2008

Posted by spiritualphilantropy in News in English, Wararkii u dambeeyay.
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Saturday, September 27, 2008

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AFP) — A Ukrainian freighter carrying an arms shipment seized by Somali pirates was headed Saturday for the central coastal city of Harardhere in an Islamist-controlled region, a local official said.

“The pirates are heading towards (the port of) Hobyo and Haradhere and it seems that they are looking for chances to unload any light military supplies on board the ship,” said Bile Mohamoud Qabowsade, an advisor to presidency of the semi-autonomous Puntland region in northeast Somalia.

“We are very much concerned over this incident which stirs insecurity if not stopped,” he said when contacted by phone from Mogadishu.

“We are getting information that the pirates are getting ready” to respond if attacked, he added. “They deployed more armed men into the waters.”

The Faina, with a crew of 21, including three Russians, was hijacked on Thursday as it neared the Kenyan port of Mombasa with a cargo of T-72 battle tanks, grenade launchers, ammunition, and spares for the Kenyan military, they said.

The Russian navy has sent the frigate Neustrashimy (Fearless) to the region in response to “the rise in pirate attacks, including against Russian citizens,” Russian navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said Friday.

Haradhere, about 410 kilometers (255 miles) north of Mogadishu, and Hobyo, about 120 kilometers north of Haradhere, are located in an area controlled by Somalia’s Islamist movement, which launched an insurgency against the Somali government in early 2007.
The region is not a typical destination for Somali pirates, who usually take the vessels they seize to the Eyl region, further north about 800 kilometers from Mogadishu.

Somalia’s coast has become extremely dangerous in recent years due to piracy as the Horn of Africa nation has been without an effective central authority since the 1991 ouster of president Mohamed Siad Barre which touched off a fierce power struggle.

Source: AFP, Sept 27, 2008

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