Hijacked bulk carrier off Somali coastline

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The hijacked Chinese bulk carrier was confirmed on Thursday to have arrived off the coast of Somalia and was now in the vicinity of Hobyo, the EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft reported.

"The Hijacked Bulk Carrier, the DE XIN HAI, is confirmed to have arrived off the coast of Somalia and is now in the vicinity of Hobyo," the EU anti-piracy force said in a statement posted on its website.

"It is not yet known if the pirates have contacted the owners and made their demands known," it added.

The pirates usually request a ransom for the hijacked ship and staff. Before that, the hijacked are considered safe.

The DE XIN HAI had 25 Chinese crew members on board.

The ship was hijacked on Monday in the Indian Ocean, 350 nautical miles northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia.

China's Ministry of Transport said later on Monday that relevant governmental agencies were making efforts to rescue the bulk carrier.

Qingdao Ocean Shipping Co., Ltd., to which the cargo vessel belongs, reported the incident to the China Maritime Search and Rescue Center at 3:50 p.m. Beijing time.

According to the Chinese ship owners' association, the ship weighed 40,892 tons and had a length of 225 meters. It was carrying coal on board and was heading to India from South Africa when it was hijacked.

Piracy has been rampant off the Somali coast in recent years, prompting a dozen countries, including China, to send naval fleets to the Gulf of Aden region on escort missions.

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