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Pirates nab one of most valuable yet

Suspected Somali pirates captured a U.S.-bound tanker carrying around $200 million worth of crude oil in the Indian Ocean yesterday in one of the biggest hijackings in the area so far.

Suspected Somali pirates captured a U.S.-bound tanker carrying around $200 million worth of crude oil in the Indian Ocean yesterday in one of the biggest hijackings in the area so far.

The Irene SL, the length of three football fields and with 25 crew members on board, was carrying about 2 million barrels of oil, or nearly one-fifth of daily U.S. crude imports.

The hijacking came a day after an Italian tanker carrying oil worth more than $60 million was snatched by Somali pirates.

“This morning the vessel was attacked by armed men,” the Irene SL’s Greece-based manager Enesel said. “For the moment there is no communication with the vessel.”

Commander Susie Thomson, spokeswoman for the multinational Combined Maritime Forces fighting piracy in the area, said the 333-meter tanker was hijacked 220 miles off Oman and was likely to have been attacked by Somali pirates.

 
 
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