- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NAIROBI, KENYA (AP) - Two maritime security contractors say Somali pirates hijacked a freighter in the Gulf of Aden overnight.

They say the M.V. Irene E.M. is the latest target of pirates who appear undeterred by U.S. and French navy attacks that killed seven bandits in the past week to free four hostages. That includes the weekend’s dramatic rescue of the American captain of a U.S. freighter.

The contractors did not know the ship’s owner or where it is licensed. They spoke on condition of anonymity on Tuesday because it is a sensitive security issue.

The Irene is at least the third vessel hijacked in a week. The nighttime attack indicates increased technology acquired by pirates who win multimillion-dollar ransoms.

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