Italian oil ship seized by pirates in Gulf of Guinea

08:40, July 25, 2011      

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An Italian ship carrying diesel fuel was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Guinea on Sunday, local media reported.

A total of 23 crew members, including two Italian sailors, 20 Filipinos and a Rumanian captain, were on board the ship when it was intercepted and assaulted by the pirates, state television Rai and ANSA news agency said.

According to the Italian Foreign Ministry, the alarm was launched early in the morning when the vessel was sailing some 23 miles off from the Benin coast.

Three of the pirates succeeded to jump on the ship and take control of it.

The vessel "Rbd Anima e Core" belonged to a shipping company from Naples.

The Foreign Ministry crisis unit is closely monitoring the situation together with Naples port authorities.

Several Italian ships have been seized by pirates in recent months.

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