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Crew member killed in capture of arms-carrying Ukrainian freighter

Crew member killed in capture of arms-carrying Ukrainian freighter

Dubai: The piracy crisis in the Gulf of Aden has reached a new intensity following the capture of a Ukrainian freighter carrying rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns. The captain of the ship has reported that one crew member has died during hostilities. A ransom of $35m has been demanded. Several warships surrounded the vessel but it is unclear whether this has prevented the pirates, who reports say are being aided by Somalia's al-Shabaab militia, the youth wing of the Islamist movement, from unloading any of the cargo, which also includes tanks.

Meanwhile, the following practical advice to ships in the area has been issued (by the UK Maritime Trade Organisation) for circulation:

"It appears that some form of targeting is happening around position: 13 30N 048 30E.   
 
All vessels are strongly advised to be extremely vigilant in the area of 10nm radius from this position.
 
Also be aware of music playing on ch16.  This is a crude form of frequency jamming being used by pirates and might signify the start of an attack."  [29/09/08]
 

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