African pirates kidnap Vietnamese on Taiwanese boat

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Three Vietnamese people on a Taiwanese fishing boat were taken hostage by Somalia pirates in the Indian Ocean Thursday last week, Iran's television network Press TV said Tuesday.

The boat, Tai Yuan 227, was carrying 28 people, local newswire Vnexpress cited Press TV as saying Tuesday. The crew includes nine Chinese, three Filipinos, seven Kenyans and two from Mozambique, besides the Vietnamese.

Tai Yuan 227 was pirated around 1,000 kilometers from the Seychelles archipelago off mainland Africa. It was last seen sailing towards the coast of Somalia.

Taiwanese foreign affair agencies said the pirates had asked for a ransom to release the crew members.

No further information has been given about the identity of the victims.

Pirates off Africa and around the Indian Ocean are currently keeping more than 300 hostages kidnapped in the past months, according to Press TV.

Somali pirates have said they are former fishermen whose waters have been destroyed by illegal overfishing and toxic waste dumping done by foreign ships who have taken advantage of the unstable socio-political situation in the world's poorest country to commit crimes with virtual immunity.

Without a strong government to turn to for support in the wake of the Western-backed Ethipoian invasion of their country, Somali pirates have said they have been forced into a life of piracy.

 

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