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South Korea: Pirates Seize Ship off the Coast of Somalia


South Korea's foreign ministry says a South Korean fishing boat has been seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The ministry says eight armed assailants in two motor boats captured the vessel Tuesday.

All 25 crew members have been taken hostage. Eight South Koreans, nine Indonesians, five Vietnamese and three Chinese were on board. They have been confirmed safe.

The ministry says Dutch and U.S. naval vessels tried to intervene, but gave up after the ship entered Somali waters. The ship was taken to a port in northeastern Somalia.

South Korea has set up a special task force to respond to the incident.

The International Maritime Bureau says the number of piracy incidents off Somalia jumped to 35 last year, up from just two in 2004.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.
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