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Pirates seize Greek ship in waters near Somalia

  • Story Highlights
  • Pirates seize Greek cargo ship the "Titan" off Somlia, crew of 24 on board
  • Nearly 100 vessels were attacked by pirates in 2008, many off Somalia
  • Two Japanese destroyers set sail on anti-piracy mission off Somalia last week
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(CNN) -- Pirates have struck again, this time capturing a Greek cargo ship in waters off Somalia on Thursday evening, a Greek government spokesman said.

The ship was seized in the Gulf of Aden on its way to South Korea with a load of iron, an official with Greece's Merchant Marine Ministry said.

The ship, the "Titan," has a crew of 24 and is owned by Albamar Shipping, the official said. Seventeen crew members are Filipino, three are Greek, three are Romanian and one is Ukrainian, the official said.

Pirating off the coast of Somalia has increased over the past four or five years as fishermen from Somalia realize that pirating is more lucrative. The crime, which is hard to prevent, has raised concerns internationally.

In 2008, pirates attacked nearly 100 vessels and hijacked as many as 40 off Somalia, according to the International Maritime Bureau.

In response, two Japanese destroyers set sail last week on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia, the Japanese defense ministry said.

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