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UN Denies Tanker Hijacking

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UN Denies Tanker Hijacking‎‎‎

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By Somalilandtimes network

Manila,   Philippines,   April 4, 2006 – THE United Nations yesterday denied reports that pirates have hijacked an oil tanker with 19 Filipinos off the coast of Somalia.

“They have no reports of this hijacking incident,” Joe Gordon, chief security adviser of the UN Field Security Coordination Office in war-torn Somalia, told chargÈ d’affaires Bernadette Muller of the Philippine Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, which has jurisdiction over Somalia.

The Al Jazeer news network and an international piracy watchdog reported on Monday that Somali gunmen had seized a United Arab Emirates-registered oil tanker, reportedly named Lin 1, off Mogadishu after it left on March 29.

Muller coordinated with the UN office to clarify the reported hijacking and to check on the condition of the possible Filipino hostages, and was told there had been one.

Hijacking is prevalent in the Somali territorial waters, prompting the United States and Britain to escort commercial vessels entering and leaving the port of Mogadishu.

Located in Eastern Africa and bordering the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean, Somalia has been in civil war since 1991, when the regime of Mohamed Siyad Barre was ousted.

Since then, the warring clans have divided the country into the Republic of Somaliland and Puntland, with warlords fighting to control the capital city of Mogadishu.

In 1993 UN forces tried to intervene to restore order, but were forced to withdraw two years later after suffering heavy casualties. Ferdinand Fabella

Source: Manila Standard Today

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