Somali pirates hijack Indian commercial ship with 11 crew members aboard

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An oil tanker ship is seen at a drilling site

Pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship off the coast of Somalia and the vessel is heading toward the shore, a former government anti-piracy official said on Monday.

“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, said.

Graeme Gibbon-Brooks of UK-based Dryad Maritime Security said industry sources had told him the 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.

Last month, Somali pirates hijacked an oil tanker, the first commandeering of a vessel since 2012, but released it after a fight with Puntland’s marine force.

The hijacking followed an outpouring of anger by locals over foreign fishermen flooding into their waters, some of whom have licenses to fish there.

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