Greek ship attacked by Somali pirates

10:19, 22 September 2008
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The fate of the crew, including one Ukrainian, is unknown

A Greek-owned ship with 19 sailors on board, most of them Filipinos, has been attacked by pirates off Somalia, the Greek merchant marine ministry said Sunday, AFP reported.

The ministry said it did not have any further information on the attack, which happened 250 nautical miles off Somalia, or the fate of the crew of 17 Filipinos, one Chinese and one Ukrainian.

The freighter Captain Stephanos, flying the Bahamas flag, belongs to the ChartWorld Shipping Corporation, and was carrying a cargo of coal, the ministry said.

It was the second attack on Greek shipping in a week. Last Thursday the Centauri, with 25 Filipino sailors on board was attacked off Somalia by pirates in a speed boat, armed with three rocket launchers.

France on Friday circulated a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council urging states to deploy naval vessels and military aircraft to join in the fight against rampant piracy off the coast of lawless Somalia.

The waters off Somalia -- which has not had an effective central government for more than 17 years and is plagued by insecurity -- are considered to be among the most dangerous in the world.

According to the International Maritime Board, 56 ships have been attacked off Somalia since January and 11 are still being held for ransom.

AFP

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