News / Africa

Somali Pirates Seize Turkish Ship in Long-Range Attack

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Somali pirates have hijacked a ship in the Indian Ocean, in one of their longest-range attacks to date.

The pirates seized a Turkish-owned cargo ship, the MV Frigia, and its crew of 21 on Tuesday.

The European Union's anti-piracy naval force says the hijacking took place some 1,850 kilometers east of the northern Somali coast, and about 650 kilometers outside the area where the naval force operates.

The force says the attack was "closer to India than Somalia."

The ship's crew consists of 19 Turks and two Ukrainians. Turkish media reports say the ship's cargo is fertilizer. It is not clear if the fertilizer is of a type that can be used to make explosives.

The EU force says the ship now appears to be headed for one of the pirate havens on Somalia's eastern coast.

Somali pirates have gradually expanded their distance using so-called motherships. The ships are large vessels carrying supplies and small boats that pirates use to launch hijacking attempts.

International naval forces with the EU and NATO have tried to disrupt the pirates by attacking them closer to the Somali shore. The EU has had particular success, detaining dozens of pirates in the past month.

However, pirates continue to seize ships for ransom. The Turkish vessel is the third ship pirates have hijacked this month.

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

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