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11 November 2009 

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Pirates Seize Cargo Ship in Indian Ocean

11 November 2009

Map of the Seychelles islands
Somali pirates have seized another ship, this one a cargo vessel with 22 crew members.

The Greek-owned MV Filitsa was hijacked Wednesday in the Indian Ocean, 750 kilometers northeast of the Seychelles islands.

The vessel was carrying cargo from Kuwait to South Africa. The European Union's anti-piracy force says the crew includes three Greeks and 19 Filipinos.

There are reports that Somali pirates have also hijacked a fishing boat. The identity of that vessel was not immediately clear.

The pirates have hijacked at least eight boats in the Indian Ocean since the start of October. The pirates are holding at least 12 ships overall, with more than 200 crew members.  

Naval forces from the U.S., EU, NATO, and other world powers are patrolling the waters around Somalia trying to protect commercial shipping.

But the patrols appear to have little impact on the pirates, who have focused their efforts on the vast Indian Ocean.

Many hijackings have occurred near the Seychelles, a group of islands southeast of Somalia.

On Tuesday, the European Union signed an agreement to deploy troops on the Seychelles to help fight the pirates.

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

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