Thursday, May 31, 2007
An United Arab Emirates (UAE) registered cargo vessel with a 14 member Indian crew onboard has been hijacked by Somali pirates. MV Al Aqiq, owned by Dubai based Naseem Al Berrary Shipping Company has been hijacked near the Somali harbor city of Hobyo. The ship was heading for Kisamayu after unloading a part of cargo in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, the Khaleej Times reported.The vessel has been taken to an unknown destination and the pirates have demanded a ransom. The 1000-ton vessel departed from Dubai 20 days ago with general cargo. About 90 percent of cargo vessels operating in Somali territorial waters are chartered from Dubai ports. Five UAE vessels have been hijacked in the past two months, off the coast of Somalia. In the wake of the hijackings, vessel owners in Dubai are demanding deployment of international forces along the 3,700-km unpatrolled Somali coastline.