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Shipping Company Says Pirates Hijack Tanker

A Swedish warship escorts a merchant vessel off the coast of Somalia (file photo)

A shipping firm says Somali pirates have likely hijacked a chemical tanker with 25 crew members off the coast of Kenya.

Singapore-based Glory Ship Management says it believes the MT Gemini was seized by pirates on Saturday, as the ship sailed toward the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.

A company statement says the vessel is now headed toward Somalia.

The Gemini was carrying 28,000 tons of crude palm oil from Indonesia. Its crew consists of 13 Indonesians, five Chinese, four South Koreans, and three citizens of Burma.

The shipper says it is making "every effort" to secure the crew's release.

Somali pirates made hundreds of millions of dollars hijacking ships for ransom over the past few years.

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