Relatives Await Word of Italians Seized by Pirates

ROME (AP) - Relatives of Italian seamen seized by pirates off Somalia are anxiously awaiting word of the fate of their loved ones.

The 16-member crew of the Italian-flagged Buccaneer tug was seized Saturday in the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden. Ten of the 16 crew members are Italian, including the commander, Mario Iarlori.

His wife, Alessandra Costanzo, said Sunday she was desperate for information about Iarlori. She says the Micoperi shipping company
is in touch, but that it has no news.

The Foreign Ministry said Sunday that the Italian navy ship Maestrale reached the area where the tug was seized. The ministry said it was only releasing scant information in hope of freeing the seamen.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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