TEL AVIV (Somalilandpress) — A Turkish-owned ship named “Frigia” and carrying cargo of the Israel Chemicals company has been captured by Somali pirates.
The ship had left Ashdod port and was en route to Thailand Tuesday when it was attacked in the Indian Ocean. No Israelis were aboard – 19 Turks and 2 Ukrainians were manning the ship, which was flying a Maltese flag.
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The ship had delivered a cargo of sulfur for the Negev Star company two weeks ago, and then loaded up with $11 million worth of phosphates and potash.
There has been no contact with Frigia since it was hijacked. According to Turkish media, the ship is being directed toward a Somali port.
Naval piracy has experienced a resurgence in recent years, particularly at the hands of Somalians. Somalia experienced a political collapse in 1991, from which it has never recovered. A radical Islamic insurgency has swept the region, threatening to overtake Somalia. Citizens in the north have attempted to secede and create a new state — Somaliland — but have not yet succeeded.
Israeli officials have stated that they would support the creation of Somaliland, which has democratic, non-radical aims.
by Malkah Fleisher
Source: IsraelNN.com, 24 March 2010