The latest trophy for the pirates was the M.V. Irene E.M., a Greek-managed bulk carrier sailing from the Middle East to South Asia, said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center in Kuala Lumpur.
The Irene was attacked and seized in the middle of the night Tuesday — a rare tactic for the pirates.
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U.S. Navy Lt. Nathan Christensen, spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, said the Irene was flagged in the Caribbean island nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and carried 23 Filipino crew. Choong reported a crew of 21, and there was no immediate way to reconcile the figures.
A maritime security contractor, speaking on condition of anonymity because it is a sensitive security issue, said the ship put out a distress signal "to say they had a suspicious vessel approaching. That rapidly turned into an attack and then a hijacking..more..http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,515555,00.html
Pirates have vowed revenge for the deaths of three colleagues at the hands of U.S. snipers rescuing Capt. Richard Phillips, as well as for two others slain by French forces in a separate rescue last week.
"Our latest hijackings were meant to show that no one can deter us from protecting our waters from the enemy because we believe in dying for our land," Omar Dahir Idle, a pirate based in the coastal town of Harardhere, told The Associated Press by telephone. "The recent American operation, French navy attack on our colleagues or any other operation mean nothing to us."..more..http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090414/ap_on_re_af/piracy