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European Union group: Pirates abandon ship in Somali basin

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The MV Lugela was reported hijacked on Saturday
  • The waters around the Horn of Africa have been a hub for piracy

(CNN) -- Eleven Ukranians from a ship that had been hijacked over the weekend in the Somali basin are safe, the European Union Naval Force Somalia said Monday.

The Panama-flagged MV Lugela was reported pirated 900 nautical miles east of Eyl, Somalia, on Saturday, EU NAVFOR said. Late Sunday, the company owning the vessel said pirates abandoned the ship and that the MV Lugela was headed to safety, according to EU NAVFOR Somalia. The group says it is monitoring the situation.

Part of the mission of EU NAVFOR Somalia's Operation Atalanta is to "help deter, prevent and repress acts of piracy and armed robbery," according to the group's website.

The waters around the Horn of Africa, especially off the coast of lawless Somalia, have become a hub for piracy, making the busy shipping routes among the most dangerous in the world.

Somali transitional government President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed has denounced the pirates who hijack freighters in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.