Pirates Seize Indian Ship Off Somali

An Indian-owned bulk carrier with 26 crew onboard has become the latest ship to be hijacked by Somali pirates, Tradewinds reports

Pirates seize another ship, Friday, as IMB reports massive surge in attacks.

The 36,700-dwt Al Khaliq (built 1984) was snatched in the Somali Basin on Friday, TradeWinds reports.

Twenty four of the 26 crew are from India with the remaining two Burmese.

TradeWinds reported earlier on Thursday that a bulk carrier was in the process of being attacked and was feared hijacked (click here to read related article).

The Panama-flagged handysize is owned and operated by SNP Shipping Services of Mumbai, India was attacked while en route from the Black Sea to Mombasa, Kenya with a cargo of wheat - about 180 miles west of the Seychelles and 400 miles east of Somalia.

EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft confirmed that "the hijack of MV Al Khaliq, six pirates on board and two attack skiffs in tow. The mother skiff has already been taken on board with a crane."

The EU NAVFOR statement continued: "The pirates opened fire with automatic fire and also fired three rocket propelled grenades at the ship. The ship took appropriate evasive action, managed to evade the attack and is proceeding on her voyage. There were no casualties."

The latest hijacking comes only two days after the International Maritime Bureau reported that piracy for 2009 has have already surpassed the total number of attacks recorded in 2008 - 306 incidents up from 293 for last year.

In the first nine months of 2009, 114 vessels were boarded, 34 vessels hijacked and 88 vessels fired upon. A total of 661 crewmembers were taken hostage, 12 kidnapped, six killed and eight reported missing.