DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –. Owners of a Saudi oil supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates grappled with how to respond Tuesday, as na...
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates –
Owners of a Saudi oil supertanker hijacked by Somali pirates grappled with how to respond Tuesday, as navies patrolling the region said they would not intervene to stop or free the captured vessel.
With few other options, shipowners in past piracy cases have ended up paying ransoms for their ships, cargos and crew.
NATO said it would not divert any of its three warships from the Gulf of Aden and the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet also said it did not expect to send ships to try to intercept the MV Sirius Star. The tanker was seized over the weekend about 450 nautical miles off the Kenyan coast, the latest in a surge of pirate attacks this year.
Never before have Somali pirates seized such a giant ship so far out to sea.
KHAR, Pakistan – Taliban militants attacked Pakistani tribal leaders near the Afghan border, triggering a gunbattle and an explosion that killed seven people, an official said Tuesday.
The clash happened late Monday in Bajur, a lawless region in Pakistan's northwest where troops and tribal militias have been battling Taliban guerrillas for more than three months.
Israr Khan, a government representative in the semi-autonomous region, said Taliban gunmen surrounded a group of elders from the Mamund tribe in a fortress-like compound in the village of Inayat Kili.
An hourslong gunbattle between the two sides killed a commander of the Taliban fighters as well as two guards in the compound, Khan said. Four elders also died when an explosion hit the compound, he said. It was unclear what caused the blast.
BAGHDAD – Iraq's prime minister went on national television Tuesday to defend a security pact with the United States that keeps U.S. forces in Iraq through 2011 and assure neighbors that Iraqi territory would not be used to attack them.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acknowledged that he had concerns about the agreement, but said it was a step toward full Iraqi sovereignty once the last U.S. soldier leaves.
"I say to you with complete honesty that we have reservations about the agreement. But we at the same time see it as a solid prelude to the restoration of Iraq's full sovereignty in three years' time," al-Maliki said.
"I assure you that there are no secret clauses or annexes in the agreement, nor permanent military bases in Iraq," he said. "Iraq will never be a conduit or a staging ground for an attack on any other nation."
The Cabinet approved the agreement, which now goes to a vote on Nov. 24 in parliament.