11 Indian sailors on small boat hijacked off Somali coast

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FILE – In this Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 file photo, masked and armed Somali pirate Hassan stands near a Taiwanese fishing vessel washed ashore after the pirates were paid a ransom and the crew were released in the once-bustling pirate den of Hobyo, Somalia. Pirates have hijacked an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia, […]

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) ā€” A private anti-piracy investigator says 11 Indian sailors on small boat have been hijacked off Somalia’s coast, the latest vessel targeted by the region’s resurgent pirates.

Graeme Gibbon Brooks of Dryad Maritime told The Associated Press on Monday that the hijackers want a ransom for the crew.

Brooks said the vessel was being taken to the Eyl area of northern Somalia. He said the vessel initially was heading from Dubai to Bosaso, Somalia.

Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said sailors there are “aware of the reports and we are monitoring the situation.” The 5th Fleet oversees regional anti-piracy efforts.

In March, Somali pirates hijacked the Comoros-flagged tanker Aris 13, marking the first such seizure of a large commercial vessel since 2012.

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