Somali Pirates Use Hijacked 'Asian Glory' to Assail Cargo Ship - Report

Diplomacy | April 9, 2010, Friday // 18:10|  views

The "Asian Glory" was hijacked over three months ago. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Somali pirates have used the Asian Glory ship, which had Bulgarian crew members when it was hijacked in January, to attack another cargo vessel.

The Asian Glory was used to attack the cargo container ship “MSC Anafi”, which resulted in a fierce sea battle with machine guns, according to Russian Journalist Mikhail Voitenko, as cited by the Varna-based paper Narodno Delo Daily.

Voitenko says the attacked ship managed to evade being captured by the Somali pirates after a several hours' fight, and claims that the international naval forces in the region kept the severe naval battle a secret.

This is believed to be the third time that the Somali pirates took the Asian Glory into the ocean in order to use it for their operations.

There is no information about injured crew members on board of "The Asian Glory" after the battle, says Russian journalist Voitenko.

At the moment the cargo ship is situated 580 miles East off the coast of Somalia, according to a publication dated April 6 on the website of the Asian Glory operator, Zodiac Maritime Agencies Ltd, which also runs the other Somali-hijacked ship with Bulgarian sailors on board, the “St. James Park”.

The "Asian Glory" was hijacked over three months ago, almost 1 000 km off the coast of Somalia, with 10 Ukrainians, 8 Bulgarians, 5 Indians, and 2 Romanians on board.

According to the relatives of the Ukrainian crew members, the Somali pirates had taken away the captain, Veliko Velikov, who comes from Bulgaria’s Varna, and none of them had seen him since March 6.

The Asian Glory was loaded with 2,405 cars from South Korean shipped from Singapore to Saudi Arabia.

Thirteen Bulgarians are currently held in captivity by Somali pirates, including five sailors serving on board of the the “St James Park“ tanker that was hijacked on December 28, 2009.

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Tags: Asian Glory, Zodiac Maritime, ship, Veliko Velikov, somali pirates, hijack


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