12 November 2008 21:20 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--Pirates have hijacked another chemical tanker off of Yemen near the Horn of Africa, the Turkish news agency Anatolia reported on Wednesday.
The Turkish tanker Karagol, headed for India, was the second chemical tanker hijacked this week. On Monday, Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden hijacked the Stolt Strength, also going to India, with 21 Filipino crew members on board.
It was the second vessel chartered by Stolt-Nielsen to be hijacked in the region after the Stolt Valor two months ago.
The series of attacks led to more NATO warship patrols and the EU announcing a protection rota system for vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden.
The Karagol was hijacked 26km (16 miles) off the coast of Yemen on its way to India, the report said. The ship with 14 Turkish crew on board is carrying 4,500 tonnes of unspecified chemicals, added the report.
It was the second Turkish ship to be hijacked within a month. In late October, Somali pirates hijacked a Turkish vessel in the Gulf of Aden.
The waters off the Somali coasts are considered to be some of the world's most dangerous as pirates have hijacked nearly 30 ships this year and attacked many more.
In the same period of 2007, there were 26 attacks blamed on Somali pirates near the Horn of Africa.
Most attacks have been in the Gulf of Aden between Yemen and north Somalia, a major route leading to Egypt's Suez Canal, which is a primary international waterway linking Europe and Asia.
Somalia is essentially a lawless country. Dozens of ships, mainly merchant vessels, have been seized off its 3,700km coastline in recent years, despite the presence of Western warships in the region.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Russian navy said Russian and British ships repelled a pirate attack on Powerful, a Danish vessel, in waters off Somalia.
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