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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - LONDON, Dec 15 — A Spanish navy ship is sailing at full speed towards a Maltese-flagged commercial ship that may have been hijacked by pirates off Somalia, the European Union’s Somali counter piracy force said today.
Eunavfor’s joint operations centre in Spain received an alert yesterday about the “alleged pirate-hijacked vessel” Ruen, which was approximately 500 nautical miles east of Socotra Island, off Somalia, adding that the Spanish warship Victoria had been sent to the scene “in order to gather more information and evaluate further actions”.
“Eunavfor remains vigilant to this and other recent piracy-related events in the area of operations, the northwest Indian Ocean and the Red Sea.”
The force added that it was co-ordinating with the broader international naval Combined Maritime Force.
British maritime security company Ambrey said it believed the Ruen had been hijacked by pirates.
Earlier today, Britain’s maritime body UKMTO said it had received a report from a ship’s security officer who believed the crew no longer had control of a vessel which was currently headed towards Somalia.
The Ruen is managed by Bulgaria’s Navigation Maritime Bulgare, according to data on public shipping database Equasis.
The vessel was last seen under way in the open sea sailing towards Somalia at 1426 GMT, according to ship tracking data on LSEG. If confirmed, this would be the first hijacking involving Somali pirates in years after counter-piracy efforts by international navies stopped such seizures in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. — Reuters
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