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Three Russians and two Ukrainians are among
Three Russians and two Ukrainians are among the crew of the German container vessel Hansa Stavanger captured by Somali pirates, the Sovfracht Maritime Bulletin reported on Monday.

According to Sovfracht, six Somali pirates in one boat carried out Sunday's hijacking, although there is most likely a pirate base ship nearby.

"The ship is carrying containers with Asian-made goods," the bulletin reported. "On board the Hansa Stavanger there are hundreds of containers worth tens of millions of dollars." It said this was the first hijacking of goods of this size, noting that the cargo could be easily unloaded and sent to shore.

Besides the Russian and Ukrainian crewmembers, there are 14 Filipinos on board the vessel.

Sovfracht reported that a warship from the European Union's Atalanta operation in the Gulf of Aden has set course for the hijacked vessel. There is no information on the condition of the crew or the cargo.

According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia. The East African country, ravaged by years of civil war, has no functioning government.

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