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Korean ship attacked by pirates near Singapore Strait

11:22 July 22, 2019

BUSAN, July 22 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean freighter was attacked by pirates near the Singapore Strait on Monday, government officials in Busan said.

The pirates armed with guns and other weapons assaulted sailors of the South Korean-registered vessel, the 44,132-ton CK Bluebell, in the sea about 100 miles from the entrance of the strait at 4:25 a.m. before making off with US$13,000 in cash, according to the officials at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

No casualties were reported from the attack, they said, noting some sailors sustained minor injuries, such as bruises, during their confrontations with the pirates.

This photo captured from Marine Traffic shows the CK Bluebell. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

Besides the cash, some sailors lost their personal belongings, including mobile phones, clothes and shoes, to the attackers, they added.

The CK Bluebell en route to Incheon after departing from Brazil resumed its normal navigation after the attack, they said.

"Ordinary freighters navigate at a speed below 15 knots. But a speed boat operated by the pirates approached the freighter at a speed above 20 knots. Afterward, seven weapons-wielding pirates got on board and assaulted the sailors for about 30 minutes," a ministry official said.

The official said the ministry has delivered news of the pirate attack to all Korean-registered vessels near the Singapore Strait and asked them to stay alert.

ycm@yna.co.kr
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