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Suspected Indonesian Pirates Target Ships in S. China Sea

Suspected Indonesian pirates hiding in a cluster of islands in the South China Sea have attacked at least six foreign ships in the past week, threatening crews with guns and seizing cash and valuables, an official said Tuesday. “The raids occurred around Indonesia’s Anambas islands, known for spectacular diving spots and large oil resources,” said Noel Choong, who heads the International Maritime Bureau’s Kuala Lumpur-based global piracy watch center. The islands, sparsely populated by descendants of ancient seafarers and fishermen, are near Southeast Asia’s main shipping lanes, 200 kilometers east of Singapore. Since April 22, pirates have stormed a Norwegian liquid gas carrier, a Panamanian cargo ship, a Malaysian tanker, a Liberian tug and other vessels, Choong said. No injuries have been reported. But the pirates, believed to be a gang of at least nine Indonesians, carried guns, knives and bamboo poles, Choong told AP. Full Story

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