MANILA, Philippines -- Sixteen Filipino seamen were among the 24 crew members of a Panama-flagged tanker hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.
The Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila has yet to confirm the report which was relayed by the public affairs office of European Union Naval Force (EU Navfor) Somalia – Operation Atalanta on its website (http://www.eunavfor.eu/2010/10/merchant-vessel-polar-pirated-in-the-somali-basin/).
According to the EU Navfor, the MV Polar was attacked by pirates on the night of Oct. 30, some 1,100 kilometers east of the Yemeni island of Socotra.
The MV Polar, which a deadweight of 72,825 tons, has a crew of 24, of which one is a Romanian, three are Greeks, four Montenegrins and 16 Filipinos.
The EU NAVFOR is a military operation by the EU to deter and combat piracy and armed robbery of the coast of strife-torn Somalia.
On Oct. 24, Somali pirates also seized a Greek-owned and Singaporean-flagged tanker MT York with 14 Filipino crew members off the coast of Kenya.
According to the DFA, more than 100 Filipino seamen are being held captive by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.