Pirates seize Ukrainian ship off Somalia

Thu 25 Sep 2008, 18:52 GMT
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NAIROBI, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Somali pirates hijacked a Ukrainian-owned ship bound for Kenya off the Horn of Africa country on Thursday, a maritime official said.

"The Ukrainian-owned ship flying the Belize flag is known as Faina and was taken about three hours ago. It has a Russian and Ukrainian crew," said Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme.

Mwangura said the vessel was carrying 2,230 tonnes of cargo. No other details were immediately available.

Heavily armed pirates have seized more that 30 vessels off Somalia so far this year, making its waters the most dangerous in the world.

The pirates are holding more than a dozen vessels and more than 200 crew members for ransom. (Reporting by Wangui Kanina; Editing by Andrew Dobbie)

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