Iraqi forces pursued robbers of cargo ships in Gulf

Details emerge as officials confirm that four ships were looted, but assert that ports are secure.
Armed Somali pirates carrying out preparations to a skiff in Hobyo, northeastern Somalia, Jan. 4, 2010, ahead of new attacks on ships sailing in the Gulf of Aden. On Aug. 8 pirates of unknown nationality robbed at least two vessels anchored in Iraqi waters. (MOHAMED DAHIR/AFP/Getty Images)

At about 4am on Aug. 8, in the dark waters of the Gulf near Iraq’s primary oil-export terminal, a small pirate vessel accosted an American cargo ship. Two men wielding AK-47s boarded the Sagamore, held the crew at gunpoint, and robbed them of money, cell phones, and computers.

It was one of four nighttime pirate raids perpetrated that morning, between 2 a.m. and 4 a.m., in waters guarded by the U.S. Navy. According to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, based in Bahrain, the other ships targeted were the Arminia, sailing out of Antigua and Barbuda; the Crystal Wave, of North Korea; and the Sana Star, of Syria.

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