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Somali pirates seize Algerian-owned ship off Oman

Suspected Somali pirates have seized an Algerian-owned ship with 27 crew members onboard in the Indian Ocean.

The European Union's anti-piracy task force said the MV Blida was hijacked Saturday about 150 nautical miles southeast of the Omani port of Salalah.

The ship was heading to Tanzania at the time it was seized. The force said late Sunday that the sailors are from Algeria, Ukraine and the Philippines.

Piracy is thriving off the coast of Somalia because the country has not had an effective government for two decades. They currently hold at least 28 vessels and 654 hostages.

Pirates tried to capture two ships in separate attacks in the Mozambique Channel over the Christmas weekend — the farthest south they have ever attempted a hijacking.