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Somali pirates attack two ships, hold North Korea crew hostage

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A daily summary of global reports on security issues.

Pirates off the coast of Somalia have attacked two more vessels, the European Union's naval force stated Tuesday. While a Ukrainian cargo ship managed to escape, a Singaporean-operated chemical tanker with a crew of 28 North Koreans has been hijacked.

News of these latest attacks in the Somali basin comes a day after a Spanish judge indicted two suspected Somali pirates on counts of kidnapping and armed robbery.

According to the BBC, the chemical tanker was hijacked by pirates late on Monday.

The Christian Science Monitor reported last month that Somali pirates are targeting ships around the Seychelles in an effort to avoid US and European naval patrols.

Meanwhile, a Ukrainian cargo ship, the MV Lady Juliet, aided by the EU naval force (Navfor) detachment protecting the ship, successfully fought off pirates in the Gulf of Aden, adds the BBC. The pirates, who were armed with Kalashnikovs and rocket-propelled grenades, were deterred by return fire from the Navfor escort.

But the Associated Press reports that Gedi Ali, a Somali who claims to be a spokesman for the pirates, alleged on Tuesday that pirates had managed to capture the Ukrainian ship.

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