- Somali pirates have seized a Green-owned container ship with its 22 crew members today, the European Union's Naval Force for Somali has announced.
According to the statement issued by Naval force, MV Filitsa from Kuwait headed to Durban, South Africa, was intercepted by pirates in the early morning about 460 miles northeast of the Seychelles. The statement further said hijackers used three speed boats to launch the attack.
The Filitsa's crew include 19 Filipinos and three Greeks. The ship was seized 400 kilometres (250 miles) off the Seychelles, the EU naval mission said.
In October, Somali pirates have gone on the rampage in the Indian Ocean with calm waters at the end of the monsoon season enabling them to launch attacks as far as 1,000 nautical miles from the capital Mogadishu, seizing a private yacht in the Indian Ocean. The pirates have demanded a $7 million ransom for the British couple's release.
The other two vessels were attacked in the ocean, one of them, a cargo ship was successfully boarded and seized off the Seychelles, while the other fought off its attackers near the Kenyan coast.
Pirates are still holding a Spanish fishing boat, the Alakrana, which they seized on 2 October off Somalia's coast.
Last year, Western nations deployed a flotilla of warships to secure the Gulf of Aden as a surge in piracy threatened a key maritime route. This has since seen the pirates switch to the Indian Ocean.
On Tuesday, the Seychelles and the European Union signed an agreement authorising EU naval forces to hunt and detain suspected Somali pirates in waters off the Seychelles.
The deal is also designed to help the tiny Indian Ocean nation develop its own anti-piracy capacities, the foreign affairs ministry said.
The Seychelles had already signed similar agreements with France and the United States.
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