Seventeen Filipinos are among 24 crewmen seized by Somali pirates aboard a Greek bulk carrier late last week, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday.
The pirates hijacked the St. Vincent-flagged MV Titan in the Gulf of Aden on March 19. Three Greek crewmen, three Romanians and a Ukraninan were also seized.
The incident brings to 71 the total number of Filipino sailors being held by Somali pirates, the department said in a statement.
It said it has "instructed the Philippine embassy in Nairobi to coordinate with proper authorities concerning the safety and well-being of the seamen."
Three other foreign vessels with 54 Filipinos on board remain anchored off Somalia and held by pirates, it said.
The Philippines is the world's leading supplier of crew, with over 350,000 sailors manning oil tankers, luxury liners and passenger vessels worldwide, official statistics show.