Attackers of ship in Iraqi waters apprehended

12 August 2010

The two men boarded an American cargo ship on 8 August and stole the crew’s possessions

The two men who boarded an American cargo ship anchored near Iraq’s Umm Qasr port on 8 August have been apprehended, say Iraqi authorities.

Armed with AK-47s, the men boarded the Sagamore and held the crew at gunpoint and robbed them of their money, mobile phones and computers.

The Sagamore sent a distress call and the US navy’s Fifth Fleet deployed a guided missile destroyer and a US Coastguard Cutter to secure the ship. The US navy also notified the Iraqi Coastguard, which sent four boats to search for the men who were later apprehended and the stolen goods were confiscated, says Anmar al-Safi, media director of Iraqi Ports.

This was one of four raids on that day in waters that are guarded by the US navy. The other ships that were targeted were the Arminia, registered in Antigua and Barbuda, the Crystal Wave of North Korea and the Sana Star of Syria. All the raids happened as the ships were anchored near the Basra oil terminal, which is about 19 miles from Umm Qasr port in Iraq, US and Iraqi authorities have confirmed in reports.

The Iraqi authorities say that what happened was a robbery rather than a pirate attack.

The attack comes after a suspected terrorist attack in July on a Japanese oil tanker in the Straits of Hormuz, gateway to the Gulf. The tanker is owned by Mitsui OSK Lines.


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