Somali pirates seize Greek ship

Several nations have warships in the Gulf of Aden on anti-piracy patrolsA Greek-owned ship with a Ukrainian crew has been hijacked by Somali pirates south-west of the Seychelles, a seafarers’ group says.

It came hours after a Portuguese warship thwarted an attack on a Norwegian vessel in the Gulf of Aden.

The warship, part of a Nato patrol, destroyed explosives its crew found when they captured the pirates.

Somali pirates have also told news agencies they seized a Ukrainian ship in the Indian Ocean late on Friday.

Reuters news agency quoted a pirate the vessel was carrying industrial equipment including white cars with the United Nations logo.

UN officials could not confirm the claim, says the BBC’s East Africa correspondent Peter Greste, but pirates in the past have disrupted UN aid work by seizing ships loaded with emergency food supplies.

Saturday’s attack on the Greek ship, the MV Ariana, took place about 250 nautical miles (460km) from the Indian Ocean islands.

The vessel, said to be carrying 35,000 tons of soya, was sailing from the Middle East to Brazil, said Andrew Mwangura of the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme.

It is owned by a Greek company and managed by Seven Seas Maritime in London.

Distress call

In the earlier incident, the Portuguese warship, the Corte Real, sent a helicopter to help the oil tanker Kition after a distress call was made.

The incident happened about 100 miles (160km) from the Somali coast.