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Ukraine says ship seized by Somali pirates contains 33 tanks

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A Ukrainian ship seized by pirates off the Somali coast on Thursday contained 33 T-72 tanks along with other armaments that were on their way to Kenya under a contract, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.
KIEV, September 26 (RIA Novosti) - A Ukrainian ship seized by pirates off the Somali coast on Thursday contained 33 T-72 tanks along with other armaments that were on their way to Kenya under a contract, Ukraine's defense minister said Friday.

Ukraine's Foreign Ministry earlier cited the ship owner, Tomax Team Inc., as saying there were three Russian, 17 Ukrainian and one Latvian nationals on board the Faina ship, which was flying the Belize flag.

President Viktor Yushchenko has urged his government to do everything possible to ensure the crew's release.

Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to police its coastline. The International Maritime Bureau said more than 30 incidents of piracy were registered in the region in 2007. More than 30 attacks have been committed so far this year off the coast of the East African nation.

Russia's Navy has sent a missile frigate to waters off the Somali coast to fight piracy in the region, a Navy spokesman said Friday.

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