Pirates hijack 2 tankers in 24 hours off the coast of Somalia

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
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BRUSSELS - Pirates armed with machine-guns hijacked a Norwegian chemical tanker off the coast of Somalia today, less than 24 hours after a smaller Greek-owned vessel was seized in the same area.
The U.S. 5th Fleet, which patrols the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, confirmed both hijackings.
The European Union's military spokesman says the 23,000-ton Norwegian-owned Bow Asir was captured 400 kilometres off the Somali coast this morning.
Norway's shipowners association said the Bow Asir had a crew of 27 with a Norwegian captain, but the 5th Fleet said there were 23 crew on board.
The 9,000-ton Greek-owned Nipayia, with 19 crew members, was seized 720 kilometres off Somalia on Wednesday afternoon.
Both vessels are chemical tankers but specific information on their cargoes has not been released.

Organizations: European Union, Nipayia

Geographic location: Somalia, BRUSSELS, U.S. Norway

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