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Terrorism & Security

Somali pirates hijack eight ships in three days

Somali pirates hijacked a cargo ship with 24 crew Monday, on the heels of capturing another seven vessels in the Indian Ocean over the weekend.

By Taylor BarnesCorrespondent / March 30, 2010

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Pirates captured a Panama-flagged cargo ship just 10 miles from its port on Monday. The ship was last reported being sailed through the Gulf of Aden toward Somalia.

The attack comes after seven ships were hijacked in the Indian Ocean this weekend and underscores the persistence of pirates even in the face of increased international patroling and private security measures undertaken by cargo ships.

The ship was carrying mixed mechanical equipment toward the United Arab Emirates when attacked, according to an EU Naval Force release. The 24 members of the crew are from Yemen, India, Ghana, Sudan, Pakistan, and the Philippines, the Associated Press reports.

IN PICTURES: Somali pirates

"Pirate attacks have continued to climb despite the presence of three dozen warships off the Somali coast. The area of ocean where ships are vulnerable to pirate attack is too vast to effectively patrol," according to the AP.

Somali pirates have taken in tens of billions in ransom over the past few years through hijackings, and on Sunday demanded $3 million for a North Korea-flagged ship taken last month, Voice of America reports.


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