Somali pirates hijack cargo ship with 23 crew including Egyptians

Nairobi, Kenya–The European Union Naval Force says Somali pirates have hijacked a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship with 23 crew onboard, including Egyptian sailors.

A statement issued by the EU force says the crew onboard the 17,300-ton MV Suez are from Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.

Monday's hijacking occurred in the early hours of the morning and took only a few minutes. The MV Suez had called for help when it came under attack by gunfire but by the time a naval helicopter arrived the pirates were onboard.

The ship was traveling in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor, a stretch of water patrolled by a naval coalition. It is carrying bags of cement.

Pirate attacks have gone down recently because of monsoon weather off the Somali coast.

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