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LONDON (Reuters) - A Virgin-Islands owned chemical tanker carrying 28 North Korean crew members has been hijacked by Somali pirates off the Seychelles, the multinational naval force operating in the area said on Tuesday.
The European Union naval force EU Navfor said the 22,294 deadweight tonnes tanker, the MV Theresa VIII, was hijacked on Monday in the south Somali Basin, 180 nautical miles northwest of the Seychelles.
The tanker, which was operated from Singapore, had been heading to Mombasa but had turned around and was now heading north, EU Navfor said in a statement.
Attacks on vessels off the Seychelles have surged in recent weeks as Somali pirates extend their range to evade navies patrolling off the Horn of Africa.
(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Louise Ireland)