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Pirates hijack oil tanker off Somalia's coast

Pirates hijack oil tanker off Somalia's coastPirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia, Somali officials and a piracy expert said Tuesday. It is the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel there since 2012.

This is reported by The Associated Press.

The United Arab Emirates-owned Aris 13 on Monday reported being approached by two skiffs, John Steed with the organization Oceans Beyond Piracy said. About eight crew members were aboard the Sri Lankan-flagged ship, which had been carrying fuel from Djibouti to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, Steed said.

An official in the semiautonomous state of Puntland said over two dozen men boarded the ship off Somalia's northern coast. Another official in Puntland said the ship was being moved toward the coast. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

A spokeswoman for the European Union Naval Force operation off Somalia, Flt. Lt. Louise Tagg, confirmed that an incident involving an oil tanker had occurred off Somalia's coast and an investigation was underway.
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