[QODLink]
Africa
Somali pirates seize S Korean ship
Fishing vessel carrying 43 people hijacked off coast of Kenya in Indian Ocean, South Korean officials report.
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2010 07:44 GMT

Somali pirates accrued an estimated $60m in ransoms last year [File: EPA]

 

Somali pirates have seized a South Korean fishing boat off the coast of Kenya with 43 people on board, South Korean officials said.

The crab fishing vessel was carrying two South Koreans, two Chinese and 39 Kenyans when it was hijacked on October 9 near the Kenyan island of Lamu in the Indian Ocean, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

"We are investigating the exact circumstances surrounding the incident by setting up an emergency team at our embassy in Kenya," it said.

It did not specify the whereabouts of the 241-ton vessel, named the Keummi 305, and its crew.

However, a South Korean citizen living in Mombasa, Kenya, told the South Korean news agency Yonhap that the pirates took the boat to Harardhere, north of Mogadishu, the Somali capital.

Countering piracy

There was no immediate report of a ransom demand.

In depth



 The pirate kings of Puntland 
 
Q&A: Return to Somalia
 Q&A: Piracy in the Gulf of Aden
Timeline: Somalia

Videos:
 
Life inside the den of Somalia's pirates
 Lucrative raids lure Somali youth
 Meet the pirates
 Somalia guard struggles to combat piracy

"Given past instances, it would put the hostages in even more danger if the government tried to negotiate directly with the pirates," a ministry official said. "We're trying to find out more about the incident using all possible channels."

The latest hijacking came as South Korea increases efforts to counter piracy in international waters.

In April, pirates seized a South Korean oil tanker with 24 crew members off the coast of Somalia and it has been held since then.

The 300,000-ton South Korean-operated, Singapore-owned 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 commonly target one of the world's busiest maritime trade routes, accruing an estimated $60m in ransoms last year.

In all, Somali pirates were thought to be responsible for 217 acts of piracy in 2009, in which 47 vessels were hijacked and 867 crew members taken hostage.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
More than one-quarter of Gaza's population has been displaced, causing a humanitarian crisis.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
In run-up to US midterm elections, backers of immigration law changes disappointed by postponement of executive action.
As China reneges on pledged free elections, Tiananmen-style democracy movement spreads out across Hong Kong.
Acquitted of murdering his girlfriend, S African double amputee athlete still has a long and bumpy legal road ahead.
California school officials work with local community and Arab-American rights group to reach suitable compromise.
Families of disappeared persons have little recourse in finding their loved ones as gang violence remains rampant.
join our mailing list