29 September 2008

Update on Somali Pirates

More details are emerging about the standoff with Somali pirates who have taken over a ship loaded with tanks and other arms. A US destroy, the USS Howard, has begun monitoring the ship within visual range, and a helicopter has been dispatched to deter the offload of munitions or other arms. In a report by the BBC, one maritime expert is cited as indicating the ship was loaded with "dangerous chemicals", though there was no specificity to the claim. In another report in the International Herald Tribune, it is indicated that the ship's destination was not Kenya, has has been cited in numerous reports, but rather Sudan. A Russian ship is also reportedly being dispatched to the area, and according to Monsters and Critics it is believed that there are as many as three warships headed for the pirates. So far one hostage has died in the act of piracy, ostensibly due to poor health prior to the incident. Also noted is a reduction in the ransom demand, which has fallen from $35 million to a mere $20 million.

By: LongBlade

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