Somali pirates 'seize 30 tanks'

Other News Materials 26 September 2008 13:56 (UTC +04:00)

Pirates off the coast of Somalia have seized a Ukrainian ship carrying T-72 tanks, an official has said.

Ukraine's foreign ministry said the ship had a crew of 21 and was sailing under a Belize flag to the Kenyan port of Mombasa, reported BBC.

A report from Russia's Interfax news agency said earlier that the ship had a cargo of about 30 tanks, as well as spare parts for armoured vehicles.

There has been a recent surge in piracy off the coast of Somalia.

Somali pirates are currently holding more than a dozen hijacked ships.

Andrew Mwngura, who runs the Kenya chapter of the Seafarers Assistance Programme, confirmed to the BBC that the Ukrainian ship seized by pirates was carrying a cargo of tanks.

The tanks were due to be delivered to South Sudan.