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Somali pirates have seized a German freight ship off the coast of Kenya – the second commercial vessel to be captured in the region in as many days, officials have said.

The pirates took control of the German freight ship Beluga Fortune about 1,200 miles east of Mombasa, Kenya, a spokesman for the German army said on condition of anonymity, in keeping with military regulations.

The German shipping company Beluga-Reederei, which owns the vessel, said Somali pirates were behind the attack and that the ship was on its way from the United Arab Emirates to South Africa.

Verena Beckhusen, a spokeswoman for the Bremen-based company, declined to give further details regarding the crew or the cargo, but a German news agency said the vessel was carrying at least two German citizens.

On Saturday night, pirates seized a liquefied gas tanker 105 miles off the coast of Kenya in the Somali Basin, said officials in Singapore, where the ship is registered.

The MV York was travelling from Mombasa to Mahe in the Seychelles with 17 crew when pirates commandeered it, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority said in a statement.

The authority said it was working with the ship’s owner, York Maritime Co, and government agencies to recover the ship.

A Turkish warship sent a helicopter to investigate the attack, and its crew members saw pirates armed with weapons aboard the MV York, the European Union Naval Force said.

The 5,076-ton MV York had one German, two Ukrainians and 14 Filipinos aboard, the EU force said in a statement.

Somalia has lacked a fully functioning government since 1991, which makes it difficult to prosecute suspected Somali pirates.Google

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