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Greek cargo ship seized by pirates off coast of Somalia

20.03.2009 Source: en.rian.ru

A Greek-owned cargo ship has been seized off the coast of Somalia, Greece's merchant marine ministry told RIA Novosti early on Friday.

"The Titan, belonging to a Greek company and sailing under the flag of Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, was seized by pirates in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia along with its crew of 24," a ministry representative said.

The vessel was seized late on Thursday. It was sailing from the Black Sea to South Korea.

There are three Greeks on board, one of whom is the captain of the vessel. Another crew member is reported to be a Ukrainian national.

The UN Security Council is to hold a meeting on the issue of piracy in the waters off Somalia on Friday, as well as discuss efforts to bring peace to the civil-war ravaged East African state.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen countries, including Russia, are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia.

According to the United Nations, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.

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