Troops from the Puntland region in Somalia stormed a Panama-flagged cargo vessel held by pirates, but gang members killed the captain in the operation, a minister said on Thursday. Mohamed Raage, Minister of Ports and Marine Transport said “Our troops stormed the Panama-flagged vessel and engaged the pirates. There was brief fighting before they defeated them, we arrested seven pirates after they killed the captain of the ship.”
The semi-autonomous Puntland is a base for sea gangs targeting the Gulf of Aden, but is more peaceful than the rest of the failed Horn of Africa state. The pirates seized the MV QSM Dubai cargo ship and its 24 crew members from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana on Wednesday. The 15,220 deadweight tonne vessel was taken inside the internationally recommended transit corridor and had come from Brazil.
Piracy has become the way of life for some in the region. And there are suspicions that terror groups based in the region are funded by pirate ransom money. Neighbouring Kenya has seen a dramatic rise in the property market as Somali pirates use their ransom acquired wealth to buy high rise apartments and also dole out on the latest 4×4 SUV’s money can buy.
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