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5 Dead, 102 Missing in Ship Attack

May 15, 1995

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ At least five people drowned after pirates seized control of a ship carrying 111 people off Somalia’s coast, a survivor said Monday. The ship and 102 people were reported missing.

Mukhtar Shiekh Ali said gunmen in a speedboat fired on the vessel Friday as it was sailing off the Red Sea port of Bossaso, then boarded and looted it.

Nine people, including two children, jumped or fell into the water during the shooting, Shiekh Ali said. Four managed to swim ashore, but the others, including 3-year-old twins and his son Osman, drowned, he said.

There was no word on the whereabouts of the ship, said Abdullahi Haji Mohamed, owner of a telecommunications company in Bossaso.

It had been carrying 111 passengers and crew from Bossaso to Yemen, Haji Mohamed said.

None of the various clan factions in Bossaso has claimed responsibility for the attack. But the Somali Salvation Democratic Front, which controls northeastern Somalia, has used armed speedboats to capture foreign vessels accused of illegally fishing in Somalia’s coastal waters.

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