Tuesday, November 18, 2008

But Mom, I want to be a private!

PLAN's South Sea Fleet conducted an anti-terrorism drill at high sea on Nov 17 with a rescue attempt against a hijacked “Cargo ship”


图为特战队员机降被劫持“货轮”的情景。 中国军网发 管伟华摄 (责任编辑:孙礼)
(Photo of a SpOps team descending on a "hijacked cargo ship")

And in two totally unrelated news:

Hong Kong cargo ship hijacked off Yemen coast

HONG KONG (AFP) — A Hong Kong-registered cargo ship was hijacked on Tuesday by pirates off the coast of Yemen and was believed to be heading for Somalia, government and military officials said.

The cargo ship Delight was carrying 25 crew members and 36,000 tonnes of wheat when it was attacked on Tuesday afternoon in the Gulf of Aden as it headed for the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas, the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said, quoting the China Maritime Search and Rescue Centre.

A spokesman for the Hong Kong government said none of the crew was from Hong Kong, but did not give details of their nationalities.

"Our Marine Department knows that none of the crew onboard is from Hong Kong. We are following the matter up," he said, adding that he did not have any information about the exact location of the hijacking.

Xinhua said the crew were not mainland Chinese.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet in the Gulf confirmed the hijacking.

"We have very little details," Lieutenant Nathan Christensen told AFP in Dubai, adding that the ship was operated by the "Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines."

Asked whether the Delight was now heading toward Somalia, Christensen said: "We didn't have the specific location but we think this is the case."

The Hong Kong government's spokesman said that Donald Tsang, the territory's chief executive, had been informed of the situation while on a visit to London for talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

He said Tsang had been asked about the hijacking by reporters during a question and answer session.

"I just heard about this," the spokesman quoted Tsang as saying. "I want to find out more about this. This could be a serious matter for us. We will deal with it."

The hijacking comes after a Saudi super-tanker carrying two million barrels of oil was seized over the weekend by Somali pirates.

The Sirius Star, the size of three football fields and three times the weight of a US aircraft carrier, is the largest ship ever seized by pirates and the hijacking was the furthest out to sea that Somali bandits struck.

This year, Somali pirates have attacked 90 ships, more than double the number in 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau. Pirates are still holding 16 ships and more than 250 sailors.

China pledges to work for freedom of fishermen held by pirates
www.chinaview.cn 2008-11-15 00:34:23 Print

BEIJING, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- China's government on Friday pledged to make every effort to ensure the safe release of the crew of a Chinese fishing boat seized by Somali pirates off east Africa.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying it was still assessing the situation and trying to obtain more information on the vessel, which was overrun late on Thursday.

The ministry would work with organizations abroad to ensure the safe release of the crew, according to the statement.

The vessel, owned by Tianjin Ocean Fishing Company, was hijacked by pirates armed with grenade launchers and automatic weapons off the coast of Kenya and was being held off the southern Somali port city of Kismanyu, according to reports on Friday.

The 24 crew comprised 16 Chinese, one Japanese, three Filipinos and four Vietnamese, according to China's Ministry of Transport.

A Somali pirate leader reportedly said all the crew members were "fine".

No comments: