US admiral cites rise in piracy in Gulf of Oman

By The Associated Press | July 19, 2013 | 12:36 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Navy's top admiral says he's concerned by a recent rise in piracy in waters east of the Persian Gulf.

Adm. Jonathan Greenert, the chief of naval operations, told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that the problem has emerged over the past several months in the northwest portion of the Gulf of Oman, including off the coast of Pakistan.

Greenert said he would call it an "increasing trend," but not as severe as the surge in piracy that grabbed worldwide attention a few years ago with the commandeering of merchant ships off the coast of Somalia.

The admiral said the reasons for increased piracy in the Gulf of Oman need to be investigated. He said he is unsure whether it represents a migration of Somali pirates.