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It appears that a cargo ship from Iran to Eritrea was captured by pirates, who subsequently started to suffer skin burns, illness and death.

A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.

Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill "within days" of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.

Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: "We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship."

The vessel’s declared cargo consists of "minerals" and "industrial products". But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia’s Islamist rebels.

I'm not sure what to think of this...it can be spun a number of ways:

  1.  Obviously, piracy is alive and well.
  1.  If the ship contains chemical weapons, or worse, then who is responsible for shipping them to Somalia, and what type of intervention should be sought?
  1.  The fearmongers of our government can use this as an excuse for deeper military involvement in Iran.
  1.  The non-fearmongers of our government can use this as a representation of how vulnerable we are, no thanks to our Homeland Security Department.

Any way you spin it, investigate it or analyze it, this is a serious story.  Not sure if it will be buried with Britney's next stunt, but I'm sure not comfortable knowing that pirates are discovering this cargo...

Originally posted to mmuskratt on Mon Sep 29, 2008 at 09:50 AM PDT.

Poll

Will this incident be used to start war with Iran?

4%4 votes
18%17 votes
30%27 votes
6%6 votes
40%36 votes

| 90 votes | Vote | Results

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