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Watchdog somali pirates hijack thai cargo ship

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Picture (AFP/US NAVY/File/Daniel Sanford)
A suspected pirate looks over the edge of a skiff in international waters off the coast of Somalia in 2006.

A maritime watchdog says a Thai cargo ship has been hijacked off the Somali coast, as it called on the United Nations and coalition forces to halt pirate attacks in the Gulf of Aden.

Noel Choong, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau’s (IMB) Piracy Reporting Centre, told AFP, "The Thai general cargo ship was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden on August 12 by Somali pirates".

Choong says the watchdog was unable to provide additional information on the attack because "the ship was still moving with the hijackers onboard."

He says "In view of the crew safety, they are unable to provide further details". Choong says that because Somalia has no central government, the military forces patroling the Gulf of Aden should take the lead to deter piracy which is rampant in the region.

"We hope the UN and the coalition forces will stop the attacks.

He warned Unless there is a deterrent, the attacks and hijacking will continue to escalate".

In recent weeks, the IMB has reported a series of attacks and hijackings off the Somali coast.