Somali pirates hijacked on Tuesday a Turkish cargo ship in the Indian Ocean far away from the area where they normally carry out their attacks on commercial vessels, the EU Naval Force Somalia said in a statement.
The hijacking of the Malta-flagged MV Frigia took place about 1,000 nautical miles off Somalia's northern coast, where the pirate stronghold of Haradhere is located.
The ship with a crew of 19 Turks and two Ukrainians was heading from Port Said to Kaousichang in Thailand.
"This position is closer to India than Somalia and is approximately 400 N Miles outside the normal EU NAVFOR operation area," the statement said.
The EU anti-piracy operation, dubbed Atalanta, has been patrolling shipping routes off the Horn of Africa from Somali pirates since December 2008.
Naval warships and aircraft from the U.K., Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden have been involved in actively escorting commercial ships through the Gulf of Aden. The operation has been extended by the European Council until December 2010.
In a report to the UN Security Council issued last year, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said international anti-piracy operations off Somalia have led to a decline in the number of successful ship seizures in the region.
But many analysts believe that piracy will continue to be a problem until an effective government is established in Somalia. The east African nation has been without a fully functioning government since 1991.
MOSCOW, March 23 (RIA Novosti)
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