Pirates seize ship near Somalia with 8 Russians aboard

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Moscow, Nov 8 (UNI) Pirates off the coast of Somalia seized a Danish cargo ship with eight Russians among its 13 crew members, RIA Novosti news agency reported quoting the Sovfracht Maritime Bulletin today.

The website said the dry-cargo ship was registered in the Bahamas and, in addition to the Russians, had four Estonians and a Georgian aboard.

Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, where more than 60 ships have been attacked so far this year resulting in the seizure of around 30 vessels.

The Russian frigate Neustrashimy (Fearless) joined international patrols in the waters off the Somali coast last month as part of attempts to crack down on the piracy.

Seven NATO vessels are already monitoring the area, which is notorious for hijackings by Somali pirates.

The Russian vessel may be used to help intercept Ukrainian freighter ''Faina'' seized by Somali pirates a month ago with 20 people onboard.

'Faina,' which was reportedly carrying tanks and heavy weapons to Kenya, has a crew of 17 Ukrainian nationals, two Russians, and one Lithuanian onboard. Ship's Russian captain died of a heart attack after the vessel was seized by the pirates.

The pirates originally demanded a ransom of 20 million dollars, which was later reduced to eight million dollars.

UNI XC RJ VC2236

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