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Piracy - January 27

London, Jan 27 -- A press report, dated today, states: General cargo Layla S. (1404 gt, built 1971) was hijacked off the Somalian port of Berbera in the Gulf of Aden, a top maritime authority said today. The crew members are said to be a mix of Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan, Somalian and possibly Syrian nationals. The details of the crew members were still awaited, said the Indian Directorate-General of Shipping (DGS). The vessel is believed to be owned and managed by Al Hufoof, an agency based in either Syria or the United Arab Emirates. The DGS said the vessel was overpowered after the cargo was offloaded at Berbera Port. The DGS added that the crewmen had reportedly been abandoned by the owner so they may have been already held in captivity for the past few days. The DGS has informed the authorities, including the Coast Guard and Indian Navy, of the developments.

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