Syrian ship seized by pirates, three Egyptians on board

AFP , Friday 21 Jan 2011

The Khaled Muhieddine K carrier was en route to Yemen with a crew of 22 Syrians and three Egyptians on board

Pirates hijacked a Syrian ship with 25 sailors on board in the north Arabian Sea as it headed towards Yemen, the European Union's naval mission said late Thursday.

The 24,000-tonne bulk carrier Khaled Muhieddine K was seized on Thursday afternoon around 330 nautical miles southeast of the Omani coastal port of Salalah, the EU Navfor mission said in a statement.

"Authorities were made aware of the attack when the master (captain) reported being fired upon with small arms and seeing pirates on board," the statement said.

The ship, which had registered its route with the appropriate authorities, was on its way from Singapore to Hudaydah, Yemen. It has a crew of 22 Syrians and three Egyptians.

Pirates are currently holding 30 vessels and 724 hostages off the coast of Somalia, according to the last EU Navfor count.

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