(Adds details, background)
NAIROBI, June 1 Suspected pirates in a skiff
attacked a Marshall Islands-flagged oil tanker, MT NAVIG8
Providence, in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday and were driven off
by the ship's security, the European Naval Force said.
"There was an exchange of small arms fire between the
suspected pirates and the maritime security team on board the
tanker," the maritime force, known as EU NAVFOR, said in a
The guards aboard the tanker reported seeing a ladder in the
skiff. EU NAVFOR said anti-piracy forces in the area were
jointly responding to the attack by searching for the skiff.
Pirate attacks have surged in 2017 following years of
relative calm. Last year, only two ships reported being fired on
off the Somali coast all year.
In their heyday in 2011, Somali pirates launched 237 attacks
off the coast of Somalia and held hundreds of hostages, the
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri, editing by Larry King)