EU Naval Force confirms hijacking of Indian cargo ship off the coast of Somalia

The European Union (EU) Naval Force has confirmed that an Indian cargo ship was captured by suspected Somali pirates on 1 April off the coast of Somalia.

The vessel is known as Al Kaushar, and has been located in the vicinity of Somalian city Hobyo with 11 crew members onboard.

An EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft confirmed the exact location of the ship, but its attempts to establish radio communications have so far been unsuccessful. Investigations and rescue operations are currently ongoing.

The Financial Express reported that the ship was en route to Al Mukala port in Yemen from Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), when it was hijacked. The abducted crew members are said to be from Mandavi, Mumbai.

"An EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft confirmed the exact location of the ship, but its attempts to establish radio communications have so far been unsuccessful."

It is also reported that the captain of the ship had managed to describe the situation of the ship to its owner and the authorities in Dubai.

Anadolu Agency noted that this latest incident is the third case of hijacking carried out by Somali pirates in the last 30 days.

Pirates hijacked a UAE-flagged oil tanker named Aris 13 and its eight Sri Lankan crew members in the Indian Ocean on 13 March. 

They then captured a fishing vessel with ten Yemeni crew members off the Puntland area on 24 March.

The tanker was said to be transporting oil from Djibouti to Somali capital of Mogadishu and was later released by the pirates without ransom, reported Reuters.