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EU: Somali Pirates Hijack Cargo Ship, 24 Crew Members

Naval forces in the Gulf of Aden say Somali pirates have hijacked a cargo ship with 24 crew members on board.

The European Union's anti-piracy force says the owner of the QSM Dubai reported his vessel was hijacked early Wednesday.

The EU sent a helicopter to investigate and confirmed that the ship had been seized.

The crew members on board are from Egypt, Ghana, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Separately, the crew of a Libyan-owned ship hijacked last February took back control of their ship Wednesday, just off Somalia's northern coastline.

The EU said several pirates were believed killed and one crew member was seriously injured during the altercation on board the merchant vessel RIM. The European naval force says it has sent a vessel to assist the injured.

The EU and other world powers are patrolling the waters off Somalia in an effort to protect shipping lanes. Despite this, Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of boats in the past few years and taken in tens of millions of dollars in ransom.

The pirates are currently holding more than 20 ships with around 400 crew members.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.