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Saturday, April 11, 2009 

Somali islamopirates hijack Italian-manned tugboat

The seabound criminals are continuing their reign of terror, and have added a tugboat from Italy to their hit list:
NAIROBI, Kenya – Somali pirates hijacked an Italian-flagged tugboat with 16 crew Saturday, a NATO spokeswoman said, as U.S. warships closely watched a lifeboat where an American captain was being held hostage for a fourth day.

The tugboat was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's northern coast as it was pulling barges, said Shona Lowe, a spokeswoman at NATO's Northwood maritime command center.

The Foreign Ministry in Rome confirmed 10 of the 16 crew members are Italian. The crew members also include five Romanians and one Croatian, according to Micoperi, the Italian maritime services company that owns the ship.

"We received an e-mail from the ship saying 'We are being attacked by pirates,' and after that, nothing," Silvio Bartolotti, the owner of the company, told The Associated Press.

The attack on the Italian boat took place as the American captain of the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama was held on a lifeboat watched by two U.S. warships, hundreds of miles from land. The two hijackings did not take place near each other and it was unclear whether they were related.
Whether these are the same gang of seabound jihadists who carried out these attacks, their actions are reprehensible and should be dealt with severely, though the hostages certainly do need to be considered.

And patrols and hunting parties are going to have to be sent out to search and destroy these pirate clans.

Correction: as Doug Powers notes, the tug is actually owned by US sources, but run by an Italian crew.

Others on the subject include Ace of Spades HQ, The Anchoress, Right Voices, Hot Air, Vets on the Watch, Stop the ACLU, The Daley Gator, Pirates' Cove.

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