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CURRENT ISSUE

ARM MERCHANT SHIPS?
Should merchant ships transiting high risk areas carry small arms for defense against pirates?

Selected crew should be trained and have guns available
Professional armed security teams should be hired
No guns on merchant ships, ever

August 7, 2009

River pirates attack Amazon cruise vessel

Around dawn local time August 6, according to media reports, nine masked attackers armed with guns and hand grenade boarded the Amazon river cruise vessel M.V Aqua, operated by Peru's Aqua Expeditions, and seized the 20 or so passengers, bound them hand and foot and made off with their valuables. They also overpowered two police officers who had placed on board after a similar attack on the vessel nine days earlier. One of the police officers was injured.

In yesterday's incident, reports Britain's Daily Telegraph, the M/V Aqua was heading up the Ucayali River in the Peruvian Amazon to the Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve. "The men boarded the vessel from a small speedboat at around 7am on Tuesday near a hamlet called Yucuruchi, close to the confluence of the Maranon, Ucayali and Amazon rivers," says the Telegraph.

Since the latest attack, Aqua Expeditions has said it will vary its itinerary so that it no longer follows the publicly available published schedule and Government owned TV Peru quotes officials as saying efforts are being made to get an agreement between the defense and interior departments for police river patrols in the area.


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