Maharamia wa KISOMALI JUZI ALMANUSURA WAPORE MELI KTK PWANI YA DAR.
Somali pirates fail to seize ship off Tanzania
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) —
Somali pirates armed with rocket-propelled grenades and automatic weapons attacked a Dutch-operated container ship off the coast of Tanzania but failed to hijack the vessel, a maritime official said Sunday.
The attack Saturday shows the pirates are becoming bolder and extending their reach further from their base in Somalia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.
Eight pirates in two speedboats chased and opened fire at the ship about 520 miles (840 kilometers) east of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, starting a fire on the vessel that was quickly doused by the crew, he said. "The pirates used RPGs and automatic weapons to attack the ship but it managed to escape after the captain increased vessel speed," Choong said.
The ship, which has 19 crew members, flies a Hong Kong flag but is operated out of the Netherlands, he said. Choong said a white-hulled fishing vessel was spotted nearby and was suspected to be the pirates' mother vessel.
The International Maritime Bureau issued an alert to all ships off the coast of Tanzania to be on a strict anti-piracy watch, he added.