Pirates attacked a Thai-flagged fishing boat off the east African coast today and are heading for Somalia, the European Union’s naval force in the region said.
Pirates on two skiffs boarded the ship about 200 nautical miles north of the Seychelles and 650 miles off the Somali coast.
An EU naval force plane spotted the fishing boat and confirmed that the pirates were on board.
“Skiffs used by pirates have been sighted on board the fishing vessel,” the force said in a statement. (We) will continue to monitor the vessel that now appears to be heading towards the Somali coast.”
The hijacking of the Thai boat takes the number of ships being held by pirates on the Somali coastline to eight, the EU force added.
Pirates have plagued busy shipping lanes off the coast of Somalia for several years. Foreign warships from 16 nations are in the area to try and prevent hijacks, but the sea gangs now hunt for ships far into the Indian Ocean.