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Somali Pirates Hijack Indian Ship

A maritime official says pirates have hijacked another ship near Somalia, this one an Indian ship with 13 crew members aboard.

The head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting center Noel Choong says the vessel was heading to Somalia from an Asian port when it was hijacked off Somalia's northern coast.

World powers are stepping up their efforts to crack down on piracy off the Horn of Africa country.

Russian officials said Tuesday that a Russian warship, the Neustrashimy, is passing through the Suez Canal on the way to the region. NATO has also dispatched a fleet of warships to help U.S. ships already patrolling the area.

Somali pirates are holding at least 11 ships for ransom, including a Ukrainian vessel carrying 33 Soviet-era tanks that was seized late last month.

Pirates are demanding a ransom of at least $8 million for release of that ship. U.S. warships have been keeping a close watch on the MV Fania for several weeks.

Somalia's central government, fighting an Islamist insurgency, lacks the power and resources to combat piracy.

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