Tue, 11 Mar 2003

Navy sinks ships at Malacca

BATAM, Riau: Several ships believed to be operated by pirates were sunk by the Navy in the northern part of the Malacca Straits, said a senior Navy officer on Monday.

Indonesian Military (TNI) Rear Admiral of the western fleet Djoko Sumaryono said the Navy attacked the ships sometime in January. How many, however, he could not say.

"We sunk several pirate ships. We don't tolerate piracy," Djoko said.

Piracy in Indonesia ranks among the worst in the world. Most of the cases occur in the Malacca Straits, which links trade between East Asia and Europe.

Around 300 vessels pass the route everyday day, according to Djoko. But Indonesia lacked patrol ships to safeguard the route, he said. -- JP