Somali pirates seize SKorean boat
A South Korean fishing boat has been seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya and is being held in Somalia, a report said on Sunday.world Updated: Oct 17, 2010 07:55 IST
A South Korean fishing boat has been seized by Somali pirates off the coast of Kenya and is being held in Somalia, a report said on Sunday.
The 241-ton vessel, which was carrying two South Koreans, two Chinese and 39 Kenyans, was hijacked on October 9 near the Kenyan island of Lamu in the Indian Ocean, YTN news channel reported, citing foreign ministry officials in Seoul.
The fishing boat and crew have been taken to a pirate stronghold in northern Somalia, the report said, citing South Korean sources in Kenya.
The foreign ministry was not immediately available for comment.
The latest hijacking came as South Korea increases efforts to counter piracy in international waters.
South Korea has an anti-piracy warship patrolling Somali waters because of a rise in hijackings near the Horn of Africa, a key route leading to the Suez Canal.
In April, a South Korean oil tanker with 24 crew members was hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia and has been held since then.
The 300,000-ton ship, the Samho Dream, was on its way from Iraq to the US state of Louisiana with a crew of five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos.
Somali pirates, targeting one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes, raked in an estimated 60 million dollars in ransoms last year.
A South Korean tuna ship with 25 crew was hijacked by Somali pirates in April 2006. The ship and its crew were released after four months when a ransom was paid.