Page last updated at 10:38 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 11:38 UK

Somali pirates seize Greek ship

Eleni P (courtesy of Eurobulk)
The Eleni P was sailing to China when it was boarded by pirates

Pirates have seized a Greek-owned ship with 23 people on board in the Gulf of Aden, the ship's managers say.

The Eleni P, which is managed by Eurobulk, was carrying a cargo of iron ore from the Black Sea to China.

Eurobulk's Marcos Vassilikos told the BBC that pirates fired shots when they took the ship, but that the crew were not thought to have been injured.

Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships this year, despite the presence of international naval forces.

The Eleni P's crew included 19 Filipinos as well as two Greeks, one Ukrainian and one Romanian, Mr Vassilikos said.

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He said the ship was seized at about 0600 GMT, off the coast of Somalia.

War and weak government in Somalia have allowed piracy to flourish along its coast, with frequent attacks on the busy shipping lanes that link Europe and Asia.

On Tuesday, Somali pirates released an 11,000-tonne refrigerated cargo ship that had been held for two months, after a ransom was paid.

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