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Shipper Says Piracy Needs Multinational Solution


MOBILE, Alabama (AP) ¿ A multinational coalition must stand up against Somali pirates like the ones who raided an American cargo ship this week, the president of the company that manages the ship said Monday.

One country cannot stand alone against pirates like those who tried to hijack the M/V Maersk Alabama and held its American captain hostage, said Erik L. Johnsen, president of Mobile-based International Shipholding Corp. The company manages the Alabama for owner Maersk Line Limited, based in Norfolk, Virginia.

He said many seafaring nations must team to battle the problem.

"There's a risk out there and we have to address it," Johnsen told The Associated Press in an interview in his office overlooking Mobile's harbor.

Johnsen said "vital trade lanes" must be protected, but declined to comment on whether the coast of Somalia should be avoided completely.

Johnsen said he had not had time to put any recommendations for dealing with piracy in writing to any government or industry group because the hostage-taking had just ended Sunday.
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