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The 300 000-tonne Samho Dream was seized Sunday on its way from Iraq to the US state of Louisiana with a crew of five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos.
The 54 000-tonne tanker flying a Liberian flag rammed the east bank of the canal, blocking traffic in one direction, the official said.
The 35 000-tonne ship had been sailing from Israel to Thailand with a load of fertilizer when it was kidnapped.
The 300 000-tonne (deadweight) super tanker was easy prey for pirates equipped with fast skiffs and grapnels as it moves slowly, could not outmanoeuvre its attackers and, fully laden, has a low freeboard.
The 9 000-tonne Greek-owned and Panama-registered NIPAYIA was attacked 450 miles east of the southern Somali port of Kismayo on Wednesday afternoon and the BOW ASIR, a 23 000-tonne,
Russian navy ships had been searching for the 4 000-tonne Maltese-flagged vessel, which had been carrying timber.
The 97 000-tonne USS Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Table Bay on Saturday carrying about
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