Italian special forces successfully reclaimed a cargo ship, the Galatea Seaways, that had been hijacked by 15 armed asylum seekers and route from Turkey to France. After a seven-hour operation, the authorities took control of the vessel, ensuring the safety of the 22-person crew and arresting the hijackers.
- The 15 asylum seekers, who were mainly from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, sneaked onto the ship, intending to reach Europe. They attempted to hijack the ship by taking some sailors hostage using knives.
- The incident was reported to Italian authorities by the ship’s captain via Ankara, as the ship was navigating 90 miles off the Italian coast.
- Italian special forces, along with two navy helicopters, coastguard, and financial police boats, launched a nearly seven-hour military operation to regain control of the ship.
- The ship was eventually anchored just outside the port of Naples. All 22 crew members were safe and the hijackers were reportedly arrested.
- The incident underscores the increasing risks taken by thousands of people seeking asylum, fleeing from violence in their home countries and trying to avoid detection by security forces along their routes.