Somali pirates hijack Indian commercial ship: Former anti-piracy director

By Straits Times

Monday, April 3, 2017

Somali fishermen in a fishing village in Bandarbeyla in Somalia’s Puntland region. Locals have been upset about foreign fishermen flooding into their waters.PHOTO: EPA

 

BOSASSO, Somalia (REUTERS) – Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial vessel off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years without such seizures, industry and security sources said on Monday (April 3).

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. Investigations were continuing.

“We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship (and it is heading) towards Somalia shores,” Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, a former director of the anti-piracy agency in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region, told Reuters.

Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker last month, the first such seizure of a vessel since 2012, but released it after a clash with the Puntland marine force.  Somalis have been angered by a recent influx of foreign fishermen into their waters, some of whom have been given licences to operate there by the Somali government.

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