BOSSASO, Somalia Apr 21 (Garowe Online) -
A group of suspected pirates hijacked a Somali-owned ship off of the country's northeastern coast, government officials said Monday.
The ship, al Khaliij, left a port in the United Arab Emirates and was approximately 11km from the port of Bossaso, a commercial port in the self-governing Somali state of Puntland, when pirates opened gunfire on the ship.
Said Adan Yusuf, a representative of the ship's owners, confirmed to Garowe Online that pirates had boarded and taken control of the ship.
He stated that the ship was transporting equipment and other materials to Puntland when pirates took control.
Puntland Commerce and Industry Minister Abdisamad "Abwan" Mohamed confirmed that pirates hijacked the commercial ship.
But the Commerce Minister accused "employees at Bossaso Port" of being complicit in the hijacking, saying: "They [employees] did not take any measures to stop it [hijacking]."
According to Minister Abwan, Puntland security forces have "surrounded" the hijacked ship.
The hijacking comes after a Spanish fishing boat with 26 crewmen on board was boarded by pirates off of Somalia's eastern coast. [
Source: Garowe Online