AND Pirates attack, too. Can you say end of the world?
NAIROBI, Kenya (Reuters) — Somali gunmen hijacked an Indian-owned dhow off Somalia's coast with 25 crew members aboard, a maritime official said on Monday.
The dhow was attacked by two small boats while on route from the southern port of Kismayo to El-Maan, 35 kilometers (22 miles) from the lawless capital Mogadishu on Sunday, Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator for the Seafarers' Assistance Program, said.
“Normally when they take captives, they want to get in contact with the chief owner,” Mwangura told Reuters, adding he did not know whether the hijackers had contacted the owners.
He said the dhow was called the Bhakti Sagar, but did not name the owners.
El-Maan used to be the most peaceful port, he said. “Those ships who are still in Mombasa are afraid to go to El-Maan now.”
Somalia's waters have become among the most dangerous in the world since warlords ousted military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Many militias controlled by powerful warlords smuggle drugs, weapons and people by road, sea and air around the region. Piracy is a lucrative and increasingly popular offshoot of this illicit trade.