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S. Korean ship hijacked by Somali pirates

SEOUL - A South Korean fishing ship with about 43 crew members has been hijacked by Somali pirates in waters of Kenya, local media reported on Sunday.

Andrew Mwangura, the East Africa Coordinator of Seafarers Assistance Program (SAP) said the Kenyan-flagged ship may have been hijacked on October 9 when the owner lost contact with the vessel but received the report about the hijack on Sunday.

"Somali gunmen have seized a South Korean Ocean going vessel. She is flying a Kenyan flag with 39 Kenyans, two Koreans and two Chinese," Mwangura told Xinhua by telephone from Mombasa.

Reports say the 241-ton trawler Keummi 305 is currently in Harardhere, north of Mogadishu. Officials had not yet heard from the pirates with any demands.

April this year, the pirates hijacked ROK-operated tanker in the Indian Ocean on its way to the United States from Iraq.

The Horn of Africa nation"s coastline is considered one of the world"s most dangerous stretches of water because of piracy.

Somalia is at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, one of the world"s most important shipping channels.

The country has been plagued by factional fighting between warlords and has not had a functioning central administration since 1991.

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