Ship with 21 Filipino crewmen hijacked by Somali pirates
MANILA, Philippines—A Marshall Islands-flagged chemical tanker with a crew of 21 Filipinos was hijacked on Monday by suspected Somali pirates while the vessel was approaching the Gulf of Aden, the Department of Foreign Affairs on Thursday said.
Citing reports from the Philippine embassies in Nairobi and Manama, the DFA said the ship was on its way to Mormugao, India, when it was seized by the pirates.
“The vessel’s principal in Greece has assured the local manning agency (in Manila) that it is taking responsibility on the mater,” said DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez.
In a text message to the Inquirer, Hernandez also said “the families of the crew members were already informed by the manning agency about the incident.”
The DFA has “instructed the embassies (in Kenya and Bahrain) to closely monitor the situation and coordinate with the Combined Maritime Forces.”
The foreign office also directed the Philippine Embassy in Athens to “keep track of the negotiations being undertaken by the vessel’s principal with the pirates,” Hernandez added.
Aside from the 21 new hostages, 22 other Filipino sailors are being held by pirates in Somalia, according to DFA records.
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