29 ‘Abu Sayyaf bandits’ arrested in Sulu

By BONG GARCIA

TWENTY-NINE suspected members of the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) were arrested in a raid in the hinterlands of Sulu, a top military official announced Wednesday.

Brigadier General Cirilito Sobejana Jr., commander of the Joint Task Force Sulu, said the suspects were arrested around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday in the village of Bangkal, Patikul town.

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Source: http://www.sunstar.com.ph/

End Piracy in the Gulf of Aden

By Rear Admiral Terry McKnight, US Navy (Retired)

Steaming off the coast of Somalia on the morning of 13 March 2017, the motor vessel Aris 13 came under attack by two skiffs and was taken hostage by Somali pirates. For the first time in more than five years Somali pirates were successful in taking a commercial vessel hostage. At the height of piracy in 2010, almost 200 vessels were attacked and nearly 50 vessels captured annually. Was the capture of the Aris 13 a sign that piracy has returned?

Transiting from Djibouti to the Somali capital of Mogadishu, Aris 13 decided to save time and fuel by navigating within striking distance of the Somali coast and outside the internationally recognized transit corridor (IRTC) that offers the protection of several naval task forces patrolling the region.

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First aid ship from Turkey setting sail for Qatar

Turkey has already sent 105 cargo aircraft to Qatar amid embargo by some Arab states after diplomatic row in Gulf region

The first Turkish ship carrying aid to Qatar is departing Wednesday amid a recent embargo by a handful of other Arab states, said Turkey’s economy minister.

In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency on Wednesday, Nihat Zeybekci said that Turkey will continue to help Qatar with the hope that the Gulf crisis will end soon.

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Source: http://aa.com.tr/

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Libya’s increased oil production thwarts OPEC’s reduction plans

By Clifford Krauss / The New York Times

HOUSTON — The price of oil keeps sinking, and there is no shortage of reasons. American oil companies are producing too much petroleum. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has not cut production enough. Motorists around the globe are not driving enough to shrink crude and gasoline inventories as quickly as expected.

But the biggest wild card in the equation — one that could tip prices at the pump from one day to the next — is oil-rich Libya, among the most unstable countries in North Africa. Contrary to the predictions of almost all experts, Libya’s production has climbed a wall of crisis in recent months to 885,000 barrels a day last week, roughly triple its production of only a year ago.

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Indonesia reaffirms support for PH’s fight vs. terrorism

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Indonesian President Joko Widodo has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to help the Philippines fight the threat of terrorism in Mindanao, Malacañang said on Thursday.

This came after it was revealed that President Duterte spoke with Widodo over the telephone Wednesday night to discuss security matters following the threat of the Islamic State (ISIS) to establish a caliphate in Asia.

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Source: http://news.mb.com.ph/

Migrant deaths in Mediterranean in 2017 pass 2,000 mark on World Refugee Day after new boat disasters

Humanitarian organisations call on EU to stop ‘demonising’ NGOs for saving life at sea

Lizzie Dearden

More than 2,000 migrants have died attempting treacherous boat crossings to Europe so far this year, following three more shipwrecks announced on World Refugee Day.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said 129 asylum seekers were missing and presumed dead after a dinghy launched by smugglers in Libya started taking on water and sank, leaving only four survivors from sub-Saharan Africa.

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Contested Seas: Maritime Security in Libya

By CIMSEC 

[By James Pothecary]

Introduction

On 20 February, the Bahamas-flagged car carrier Morning Compass was seized by militants purporting to represent the Libyan Navy. The ship, which was carrying around 5,000 cars to South Korea, was interdicted by a heavily armed skiff and forced to divert to Misrata port, which is located on the western tip of the Gulf of Sirte. The following day the ship was released and resumed its planned course.

The skiff belonged to fighters loyal to the Tobruk-based administration, an unrecognized government that operates in Libya’s east and which has de facto control over broad swathes of the country. The internationally recognized, United Nations-backed unity government, situated in the capital Tripoli, has its own naval force. Therefore, the Tobruk-based vessel had no authority to detain Morning Compass under international law.

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At least 10 killed by car bomb in Mogadishu claimed by Somalia’s al Shabaab

By Feisal Omar and Abdirahman Hussein | NAIROBI

At least 10 people were killed on Tuesday in a car bomb attack on a government building in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that was claimed by Islamist insurgents, a government official said.

Al Shabaab frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu and other areas controlled by Somalia’s federal government. It wants to force out African Union peacekeepers, topple the Western-backed government and impose its strict version of Islam.

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Source: http://www.reuters.com/

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Normal Operations After Failed Attack At Libya’s Es Sider Port

By Zainab Calcuttawala

The Libyan oil port of Es Sider saw a failed attack on Tuesday, ending with the perpetrator’s demise via suicide bomb, according to a security official and a witness who both spoke to Reuters.

It is unclear whether the attacker acted alone or as part of a plan by one of the local organizations scheming to wrest control of the major port away from the National Oil Corporation (NOC) and its allies. No damage to the port has been reported.

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