By Ed Adamczyk
(UPI) — An Indian commercial ship with 11 crew members aboard was hijacked off the coast of Somali, officials of India’s Governate General of Shipping confirmed.
The ship, identified as the Al Kaushar, was on its way from Dubai to Al Mukala, Yemen, with unidentified cargo on Saturday when it was approached by a smaller boat whose crew sought water. The commercial ship was then boarded by armed Somali pirates.
DGS chief Malini Shankar referred to the ship as a dhow, considerably smaller than an oil tanker or commercial shipping vessel, and noted it was sailing toward Somalia. She added the ship could be released once the cargo arrives on shore.
The ship’s captain notified Dubai authorities and India’s Ministry of External Affairs about the hijacking, the Indian television news channel Times Now reported Sunday.
Piracies near Somalia were common between 2012 and 2017, until Chinese, Indian and U.S. military vessels began patrolling the area. After a lull, another ship was hijacked on March 14, India Today reported.