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Somali pirates seize Indonesian chemical tanker

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Somali pirates have hijacked a chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden - the third vessel seized in waters around Somalia this week.

Maritime officials said the Pramoni - a 20,000-tonne Indonesian-owned vessel - was seized en route to India and was now heading towards Somalia.

The ship has a crew of 24, most of whom are Indonesian.

Last Monday Somali pirates captured two other ships with 45 crew off the East African coast.

A UK-flagged chemical tanker, the St James Park, was captured in the Gulf of Aden while on its way to Thailand from Spain.

The Navios Apollon, a Panamanian-flagged Greek cargo ship with 19 crew, was hijacked north of the Seychelles.

In the latest incident, the captain of the Singapore-flagged Pramoni reported by radio that the ship had been hijacked but all the crew were well, the EU counter-piracy force Navfor said.

The ship's crew consists of 17 Indonesians, five Chinese, one Nigerian and one Vietnamese, it added.

Pirate attacks are common off the Somali coast and international navies have been deployed to counter them.

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