April 7, 2007
Somali pirates release two ships
The International Maritime Bureau warns that there has recently been "a marked increase in attacks and hijackings off the Southern part of Somalia, particularly off Mogadishu."
The attacks are mainly targeted towards vessels with cargo for Somali ports.
Vessels are advised to steer well clear of Somalian waters at all times and only approach once full clearance to enter the port has been received.
Meantime, the BBC quotes Andrew Mwangura of the Seafarers' Assistance Program in Kenya as stating that Somali pirates have released two merchant ships hijacked off the coast of northeast Somalia.
A UN-chartered ship, the MV Rozen, and the Indian-owned MV Nimatullah were released on Friday,
The MV Rozen was seized along with its 12-strong crew in February while trying to deliver food aid to the war-torn country.
The Indian dhow, which had 14 crew members, was hijacked after it tried to deliver 800 tons of cargo to the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The BBC notes that since the overthrow of the Union of Islamic Courts at the turn of the year, "Somalia has been descending back into the violence and chaos seen in the previous 16 years." Maritime officials fear the recent hijackings may signal a resumption of lawlessness on the seas.