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Ship Loaded With Aid for Tsunami Victims Hijacked Off Coast of Somalia

Officials with the U.N. World Food Program, WFP, say a ship carrying food aid for Somalian tsunami victims has been hijacked and the ship's crew taken hostage.

The WFP issued a statement early Thursday, saying unidentified pirates boarded the freighter MV Semlow off the coast of Somalia earlier this week. The ship was carrying 850 metric tons of rice donated by Japan and Germany.

The ship is registered in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and had a crew of ten. The WFP says it has appealed to local leaders and clan elders for the safe return of the crew and the food aid.

Maritime officials say piracy has become increasingly common off the coast of Somalia.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.