BEIJING, November 14 – A Chinese fishing boat with a 24-man crew has been hijacked off the coast of Kenya, state media reported on Friday.,
The abductors demanded the boat sail towards southern Somalia, which neighbours Kenya, the official Xinhua news agency said, quoting an unnamed source at China’s transport ministry.
The hijack occurred late on Thursday, Kenya time, it said.
The boat, which belongs to the Tianjin Ocean Fishing Company, had 24 people on board 15 from China, four Vietnamese, three Filipinos, one Japanese and one from Taiwan, it said.
Xinhua made no reference to the hijackers’ identity, but piracy is rife and well organised along the coast of Somalia.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, 83 ships have been attacked off Somalia since January.
Thirty-three were hijacked, with 12 vessels and more than 200 crew still in the hands of pirates.
Another tanker MV Faina carrying weapons Kenya claims was captured along with its crew close to three months ago. The buccaneers who took it just before it docked at the port of Mombasa are yet to release it.