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Piracy - August 15

London, Aug 15 -- A press report, dated today, states: More than 20 Filipino crew members of hijacked bulk carrier Irene E.M. , who are still being held by Somali pirates for five months now, have appealed to the Philippine government to order the shipping firm and authorities to negotiate for their safe and immediate release. Gemma Casas, a Filipino journalist based in Saipan, the US Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands in the Pacific, said their family learned from her brother Joven who is among the Filipino seamen on board Irene E.M. that they are now entering their fifth month of captivity and they have very little food and water supplies. The victims and their families also appealed to the government to secure help from the international community to rescue the seamen. The Somali pirates hijacked the vessel on Apr 14 off the Gulf of Aden. (See issue of Apr 16.)

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