Somali pirates have hijacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker off the Kenyan coast.The hijacking was the latest in a surge in Somali pirate attacks this year and highlighted the vulnerability of even very large ships moving through the area.
The tanker, owned by Saudi oil company Aramco, was sailing under a Liberian flag. The 25-member crew includes citizens of Croatia, Britain, the Philippines, Poland and Saudi Arabia. Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, said the pirates hijacked the vessel on Saturday. In a news release, sent out on Monday from the 5th Fleet's Middle East headquarters in Bahrain, the Navy said the large crude tanker Sirius Star was attacked more than 450 nautical miles southeast of Mombasa, Kenya.
A British Foreign Office spokesman said there were at least two British nationals aboard the MV Sirius Star, but said he could offer no further details on the ship or what had happened to it.