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Iranian tanker escapes pirate attack
Sat, 26 Feb 2011 15:01:51 GMT
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Suspected Somali pirates sit with their faces covered during a media interaction on board an Indian Coast guard ship off the coast of Mumbai on February 10, 2011.
An Iranian oil tanker has escaped an attack by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden after fire from Iranian Navy ships forced the sea bandits to flee the scene.

“Iran Sifa” oil tanker was en route from the Egyptian port city of Ain Soukhna to the southern Iranian island of Khark when it was attacked by pirates, Mehr News Agency quoted an official in the National Iranian Tanker Company (NITC) as saying.

Fire from Iranian Navy ships present in the waters of the Gulf of Aden forced pirates to flee the scene, Abdolsamad Ta'aqol said on Saturday, adding, “The oil tanker continued its voyage without receiving any damages.”

The oil tanker was returning to Iran after delivering two million barrels of crude oil to Turkish buyers in Ain Soukhna.

According to Mehr, this was the second pirate attack on an Iranian oil tanker in 2011 -- both of which have failed.

The waters off the Indian Ocean coast of Somalia are considered the world's most dangerous for persistent piracy attempts.

The Gulf of Aden, which links the Indian Ocean with the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea, is the quickest route for more than 20,000 vessels traveling from Asia to Europe and the Americas.

AKM/HGH/MMN
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