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Hijackers seize 2 cargo ships near Somalia, EU says

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Hijackers seize a second ship, MV Talca, this time in Gulf of Aden, EU says
  • NEW: Second ship is Virgin Islands-owned, Bermuda-flagged, has crew of 25
  • Hijackers are apparently taking first seized ship to Somalia, EU Naval Force says
  • There are 21 crew members on the Turkish-owned, Maltese-flagged MV Frigia
RELATED TOPICS
  • Pirates
  • Somalia

(CNN) -- Hijackers seized two cargo ships Tuesday in waters near Somalia, the epicenter of the piracy trade.

The European Union Naval Force said hijackers took control of one ship in the Indian Ocean and were apparently taking it to Somalia.

The MV Frigia, a Turkish-owned and Maltese-flagged cargo vessel, had been headed east from Port Said in Egypt to Kaousichang in Thailand.

The ship is now moving west and appears to be heading toward one of the so-called pirate ports off the coast of Somalia.

There are 21 crew members on the ship, 19 Turkish and two Ukrainian.

Also, the Bermuda-flagged and Virgin Islands-owned MV Talca was hijacked in the Gulf of Aden, EU NAVFOR said.

That hijacking took place off the coast of Oman and 180 miles south of Mazera. The ship had been heading from Sokhna, Egypt, to Busheir, Iran. Twenty-three crew members are from Sri Lanka, one is from the Philippines and another is from Syria.

The waters off the Somali coast -- such as the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean -- have been plagued by Somali pirates and the international community has adopted measures such as escorts and monitoring to crack down on piracy.