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a time for fear
Wednesday, August 13, 2003  
Johnny Depp in action

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug. 12 (AP)--Pirates with automatic weapons opened fire on a
Taiwanese cargo ship near Indonesia's troubled Aceh province last week,
wounding the vessel's captain, a maritime official said Tuesday.

The attackers pursued the ship for an hour Saturday in Indonesian waters near
the northern tip of Sumatra island, said Noel Choong, head of the
International Maritime Bureau's Malaysian-based piracy watch center.

The pirates eventually disappeared without boarding the ship, which had been
carrying a large cargo of fish to Singapore, Choong said.

It was the eighth pirate attack in the area that has been reported to the
center since May.

Choong said authorities couldn't confirm whether the attackers might have
included rebels who have been fighting for an independent state in Aceh, an
and gas-rich province in northern Sumatra.

The ship's Taiwanese captain, Lo Ying-hsiung, was shot in the leg during the

No injuries occurred among the rest of the 31-member crew, that included
Taiwanese, Chinese, Philippine and Vietnamese citizens.

The 900-kilometer (550-mile) Malacca Strait, between peninsular Malaysia and
Sumatra, is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

The International Maritime Bureau has long listed the strait's entrance near
Aceh as a high-risk area where ships are commonly robbed or hijacked by
pirates armed with rifles and machetes.

12:47 PM

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