PIRATES attacked UK-flagged chemical tanker Stolt Apal (IMO IMO 9719240 ) in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday but were repulsed, the ship’s manager Stolt Tankers it has been reported.

Al Jazeera reported the pirates approached the Stolt Apal in two speedboats 75nm (139km) off Yemen, an important trade routes for oil heading from the Middle East to Europe.

“After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team on board Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship,” a company spokesman was quoted as saying by Reuters.

“The armed guard team returned fire, disabling one skiff and ending the pursuit.

“A coalition warship [also] responded and Stolt Apal has resumed her voyage,” the spokesman said.

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According to Al Jazeera, merchant ships have been attacked in recent years in the Gulf of Aden and the Bab al-Mandab waterway by armed gangs as well as groups associated with terrorism or the civil war in Yemen.

The waters off southern Arabia and the Horn of Africa previously have been vulnerable to pirates based in Somalia.

However, increased efforts from the world’s navies have helped reduce this risk.

More recently, concerns about international piracy have been focused on the west coast of Africa and the Gulf of Guinea.

Armed robberies on board ships in South East Asia also have been a recent issue.

Look to the DCN June edition for detailed coverage of piracy and armed robbery on board ships.

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