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Somali pirates demand ransom for oil tanker

Staff Writer |
Pirates who hijacked an oil tanker in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia are demanding ransom for the crew's release, the European Union anti-piracy naval force said.

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The size of the ransom was not revealed, said the EU force that contacted the ship's master. It was the first hijacking off Somalia's coast since 2012.

Aris 13 carried eight crew members from Sri Lanka, according to the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The vessel contained oil and was owned by the United Arab Emirates.

The tanker was en route from Djibouti to Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.

The ship sent a distress signal Monday, saying it was being approached by high-speed boats.

The tanker has now been anchored near the Somali town of Alula. Sky News reported weapon smugglers have operated there, as well as members of al-Shabab, an extremist group with links to al-Qaida.

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