Bosasso, Somalia (Reuters): Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial vessel off the coast of Somalia, the second attack in weeks after years of inactivity by pirates , industry and security sources said on Monday.
United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which coordinates the management of all 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 was unable to confirm the location of the vessel , which he identified as Al Kausar, or what had taken place, and that investigations were ongoing.
Abdirizak Mohamed Dirir, a former director of the anti-piracy agency in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region, told Reuters, "We understand Somali pirates hijacked a commercial Indian ship and (it is heading) toward Somalia shores."
Somalis have been angered recently by foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, some of whom have been given licenses to fish there by the Somali government.
The pirates were on board and were taking the ship and its 11 crew members to Eyl in Puntland, he said.
In a separate incident that highlights increased pirate activity, UKMTO said on its website that early on Monday, six skiffs had approached a vessel it did not identify and that ladders and hooks were sighted.