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Pirates attack Italian ship near Somalian coast

Some 23 crew members were aboard the vessel, which was reportedly attacked by five armed men.

Security forces at a coast guard station in northern Somalia
Security forces at a coast guard station in northern Somalia
Image: Katharine Houreld/AP/Press Association Images

PIRATES HAVE ATTACKS an Italian cargo ship carrying 23 crew members in waters off Somalia, according to state TV in Italy.

The ship’s owner, D’Alesio Group, said five armed men conducted the attack Monday morning. But to protect the crew, the company said it would not provide any other details.

Therefore, it was not known if the pirates had boarded the ship or taken hostages.

Pirates flourish off largely lawless Somalia by attacking passing ships, taking hostages and demanding ransoms to free them and the vessels.

D’Alesio’s statement said the attack on its Montecristo ship occurred 1,000km off Somalia as the crew – seven Italians, six Ukranians and 10 Indians – was hauling scrap iron to Vietnam on a journey that began on September 20 in Liverpool.

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Michael Freeman

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