Somali pirates have hijacked a Panama-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden with 23 crew on board.
The 17,300dwt MV Suez was attacked while carrying a cement consignment in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor, the European Union Naval Force said.
The crew of the ship are from Egypt, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.
In 2009, Somali pirates carried out about 200 attacks with 68 successful hijackings, according to the Piracy Reporting Centre of the International Maritime Bureau.
The pirates are believed to have accumulated $50m as ransom last year.