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Pirates Hijack Ship Off Coast of Oman


The European Union's anti-piracy force says a vessel with 29 Chinese crew members has been hijacked off the coast of Oman.

The naval force Monday said the Panamanian-flagged MV Yuan Xiang was seized Saturday about 1,200 kilometers east of the Omani city of Salalah.

Somali pirates have greatly expanded their range over the past couple of years as international naval forces patrol near the Somali coastline.

The EU force says that including the Yuan Xiang, the pirates are holding 21 ships with 498 hostages.

In a separate development, the EU naval force says it intercepted a boat with four suspected pirates Saturday about 370 kilometers off the Somali coast.

A statement says there was not enough evidence to prosecute the suspected pirates, but it adds the ship was destroyed and the suspects returned to Somalia.

Also Sunday, the EU reports rescuing six fishermen from an overturned Yemeni fishing vessel in the Gulf of Aden. It identified the fishermen as two Yemenis, two Somalis and two Tanzanians. It says three other crew members from the boat are missing and one man was found to be dead at the scene.

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