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Somali pirates seize cargo ship with 23 crew

Somali pirates hijacked a Greek-owned cargo vessel with 23 crew on board today, the European Union Naval Force said.

The MV Dover was seized in the north Arabian sea, 260 miles northeast of the Omani port of Salalah, the naval force said. The MV Dover was on its way to Yemen from Pakistan when it was attacked. It was registered with shipping and naval authorities.

There are three Romanians, 19 Filipinos and a Russian aboard the Panama-flagged vessel. There is no communication with the ship and no information regarding the condition of the crew.

In a separate incident, pirates released the MV Izumi on Friday, the naval force said today. The Panama-flagged vessel and its Filipino crew of 20 are believed to be making for a safe port. There is no information on the condition of the vessel or the crew. The ship was taken in October.

Somali pirates have extended their range east and south after increased naval patrols in the Gulf of Aden. They hold more than 660 hostages and some 30 vessels. If a vessel's owner is unable to pay the multimillion dollar ransoms the pirates demand, they may keep it and use it to stalk other vessels until they run out of supplies or break down.