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Report: Pirates holding Chinese ship, crew of 24

  • Story Highlights
  • Xinhua: Pirate tells radio station crew "will be put before the law and punished"
  • Boat taken to port city of Kismayo, Somalia, according to report
  • Various reports indicate Russian, Danish, Turkish ships attacked this week
  • Bureau: 33 successful hijackings this year, 12 ships under pirate control
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(CNN) -- Somali pirates were holding the crew of a Chinese fishing vessel Friday, hours after hijacking the ship in the fourth reported pirate attack in the region this week, according to a media report.

All 24 crew members were fine, according to China's state-run Xinhua news agency, which quoted a pirate leader who had spoken to a radio station in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

The vessel was seized late Thursday in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya and taken to the Somali port city of Kismayo, near the Kenyan border, Xinhua reported.

Most pirate attacks in the region have taken place in the Gulf of Aden, off northern Somalia's coast.

Chinese officials told Xinhua that the boat, the Tanyo No. 8, was carrying 16 Chinese nationals, one Japanese national, three Filipinos and four Vietnamese nationals.

The pirate leader, who did not identify himself, accused the Chinese vessel of fishing in Somali waters and said the crew "will be put before the law and punished accordingly," according to Xinhua.

Somali pirates have generally demanded ransoms after hijacking ship.

On Wednesday, pirates hijacked a Turkish-flagged ship carrying 4,500 tons of chemicals off Yemen's coast, a Turkish news agency reported, citing the Turkish Maritime Agency.

On Thursday, a Russian cargo ship escaped pirates who attacked the ship with machine guns and grenade launchers, Russia's Transport Ministry said.

The attack sparked a fire aboard the Captain Maslov, which was heading from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Mombasa, Kenya, the ministry said. None of the 17 Russian crew members was injured, it said.

On Tuesday, the Russian navy reported that a Russian and a British ship came to the aid of a Danish ship that was attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

The British and Russians used helicopters to counterattack the pirates, who fired machine guns and twice tried to seize the Danish ship, according to a navy spokesman. The spokesman did not indicate when the incident occurred.

The British Ministry of Defense said a British crew Tuesday had boarded a small boat that they believe was involved in an attack on a Danish-registered ship earlier that day. Video Watch British pirate hunters train »

Two alleged pirates were killed during a shootout with British crew members, the statement said. A third person, a Yemeni national, died later from injuries.

The Gulf of Aden, which connects the Red and Arabian seas, has become a treacherous stretch for ships, particularly along the Somali coast.

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According to Noel Choong of the International Maritime Bureau, which tracks pirate attacks, there have been more than 84 attacks and 33 successful hijackings off Somalia's coast this year.

A dozen international ships are under the control of pirates, Choong said.

All About SomaliaGulf of Aden

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