‘Pirates seize Italian tanker in Gulf of Guinea’

Pirates seized an Italian tanker with a crew of 23 in the Gulf of Guinea on Sunday, the ANSA news agency said.

Last Updated: Jul 24, 2011, 22:55 PM IST

Rome: Pirates seized an Italian tanker
with a crew of 23 in the Gulf of Guinea on Sunday, the ANSA news
agency said.

The Rbd Anema e Core`s crew includes 20 Filipino
seamen, two Italians and a Romanian captain.

Three pirates managed to board the ship 23 nautical
miles south of Cotonou, the economic capital of Benin.

Italy`s foreign ministry said its crisis unit was in
touch with the Naples-based shipowner and following the
situation closely.

Italy stepped up its measures against piracy earlier
in July, clearing commercial ships sailing through dangerous
waters to use private security guards or soldiers for
protection.

It is not clear whether the Rbd Anema e Core was
carrying armed guards.

Pirates have seized several Italian boats over the
last few years.

On April 21 Somali pirates captured an Italian cargo
ship headed for Iran with 21 crew members on board, including
six Italians, in the Arabian Sea near Oman.

In February, pirates wielding rocket-launchers seized
a large Italian oil tanker with a crew of five Italians and 17
Indians east off the Yemeni island of Socotra in the Indian
Ocean.

After that attack, Italy`s shipowners association
Confitarma, called for ships to have armed guards aboard.

The use of barbed wire or water cannons was "no longer
enough" against "aggressive and dangerous" pirates, they
argued.

PTI