Somali pirates hijack Thai-owned cargo ship with 27 crew

14:18, December 26, 2010      

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A Thai-owned cargo ship with 27 crew had been hijacked by Somali pirates early Saturday approximately 450 nautical miles North East of the island of Socotra in the Indian Ocean, EU anti-piracy mission has confirmed.

The EU Naval Force said in a statement that, MV Thor Nexus, a 20,377 tonne general cargo ship which is Thai flagged and owned, was on her way to Bangladesh from Jebel Ali in the UAE at the time of the attack.

All the 27 crew on board are from Thailand.

According to EU Naval Force, there are now 25 vessels and 601 hostages being held by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The pirates have intensified their action in the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden and most of hijackings end without casualties when a ransom has been paid, but often after several months of negotiations.

The Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, is the main sea route between Europe and Asia. Tankers carrying Middle East oil through the Suez Canal must pass first through the Gulf of Aden.

About four percent of the world's daily oil supply is shipped through the gulf.

The attacks are being carried out by increasingly well- coordinated Somali gangs armed with automatic weapons and rocket- propelled grenades, maritime officials said.

Source: Xinhua
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