Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian cargo ship off the coast of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland, officials there say. One source said the vessel was heading towards Somali shores. There were no details of the crew or destination.Area around Hobyo marked in the oval on the adjacent map.
"We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship and [it is heading] towards Somalia shores," Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, a former director of Puntland's anti-piracy agency, told Reuters news agency.
The privately-owned Daynile website said that attack happened some 50km (30 miles) south of the port town of Hobyo.
There were 11 people on board the vessel, which was taken on 1 April, Indian media report.Reuters report:
Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity, industry and security sources said on Monday.
United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of merchant ships and yachts in the Gulf of Aden area, said it had received information that a dhow en route to Bosasso from Dubai had been hijacked "in the vicinity of Socotra (Island)".
A spokesman said UKMTO could not confirm the location of the vessel, which he identified as Al Kausar, or what exactly had taken place, and that investigations were continuing.
Graeme Gibbon-Brooks of UK-based Dryad Maritime Security said industry sources had told him the Indian vessel was en route to Bosasso from Dubai when it was hijacked on Saturday.
The pirates were on board and were taking the ship and its 11 crew members to Eyl in Puntland, he said.
An Indian government official briefed on the incident confirmed the crew's number, said they were all Indian, that the vessel was an unmechanized dhow, and that officials were in touch with the Somali government.