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British ship hijacked off Somalia

SOFIA, Jan 2 –  A British-flagged cargo ship with 25 crew, including eight Bulgarians, has been hijacked 620 miles (1,000 kilometres) off Somalia, the Bulgarian foreign ministry announced Saturday.

The Asian Glory, which was hijacked on Friday evening, was transporting cars from Singapore to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.

As well as the Bulgarians, including the ship\’s captain, the crew includes Ukrainians, Romanians and Indians, according to Zodiac Shipping, which hired the Bulgarians.

A British Foreign Office spokesman told AFP in London on Saturday that "there are no British nationals on board" the Asian Glory.

"We will be in touch or have been in touch with the Asian Glory\’s management company and we will keep in regular contact with them and offer support wherever possible," the spokesman added.

Five other Bulgarians were among the crew from nine different countries on the St James Park, a British-flagged chemical tanker, which was seized on Monday in the Gulf of Aden en route from Spain to Thailand.

That ship is now on the Somali coast and the crew have been able to telephone their families, foreign ministry spokesman Dragovest Goranov said.

"They are in good health and they have food and water," he said, without indicating whether a ransom had been demanded.

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