Saturday, April 5, 2008

Well, Damn My Blood!

From the AP:

"Pirates seized control of a French cruise ship Friday off the coast of Somalia, France's Foreign Ministry said.

A ministry official said details about the attack were scarce, and it was not clear how many crew members were on board the ship or if there were any passengers.

The ship is in the high seas in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia in the Indian Ocean.

Pirates seized more than two dozen ships off the Somali coast last year.

The U.S. Navy has led international patrols to try to combat piracy in the region. Last year, the guided missile destroyer USS Porter opened fire to destroy pirate skiffs tied to a Japanese tanker.

Wracked by more than a decade of violence and anarchy, Somalia does not have its own navy and a transitional government formed in 2004 with U.N. help has struggled to assert control.

The International Maritime Bureau, which tracks piracy, said in its annual report earlier this year that global pirate attacks rose by 10 percent in 2007, marking the first increase in three years.

Those interested in understanding the global resurgence in piracy and efforts to combat it should read this blog from time to time.

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