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From the Washington Post:

MOGADISHU (Reuters) – Somali pirates seized a chemical tanker and a cargo vessel on Monday, underlining the continued risk to shipping in some of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes.

Somalia has been mired in chaos with no effective central government since 1991 and pirate gangs operating from coastal havens in the failed Horn of Africa nation have flourished over the past few years.

The gangs have made tens of millions of dollars from seizing ships for ransom in the Gulf of Aden linking Europe to Asia and are also hunting far into the Indian Ocean to evade foreign navies sent to protect commercial shipping.

On Monday, pirates seized the British-flagged chemical tanker St James Park in the Gulf of Aden and the Panama-flagged bulk cargo ship Navios Apollon, taking the number of vessels they hold to more than 10, maritime officials said.

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