Somali pirates have hijacked a British-owned cargo ship crewed by Ukrainians, a NATO spokesman tells the AP. The Maltese-flagged Ariana was hijacked northwest of the Seychelles islands about 1,000 miles from NATO's operating area. Also today, a Portuguese warship seized explosives from suspected Somali pirates after thwarting an attack on a Norwegian-owned oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.
It was said to be the first time NATO forces found pirates armed with raw explosives. The Portugese frigate had sent a helicopter to investigate a distress call from the crude oil tanker MV Kition late Friday about 100 miles north from the Somali coast.The suspects fled to a larger pirate vessel, but were intercepted by the warship an hour later. The 19 pirate suspects were released, after consultation with Portuguese authorities, because they had not attacked Portuguese property or citizens.