Somali Pirates Hijack Thai Cargo Ship with 28 Crew

August 20, 2008

Somali pirates hijacked a Thai cargo ship with 28 crew members onboard, the International Maritime Bureau said Friday.

Pirates attacked the Thor Star on Tuesday, senior analyst Cyrus Mody said, in the latest of a string of attacks in lawless Somali waters. Mody was unaware of any demands for ransom.

The ship is owned by the Thor Star Shipping Company Limited and managed by Bangkok-based Thoresen and Company.

The Gulf of Aden, where many of the attacks take place, connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, forming one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The attackers are usually armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades and travel in small, fast speedboats that can be towed more than 100 miles offshore by larger vessels to lie in wait.

The impoverished country has not had a functioning government since 1991 and foreign vessels are frequently seized for ransom, making it difficult and expensive to deliver aid.

In June, the U.N. Security Council voted to allow international warships to enter Somali waters to combat the problem.

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