Neighbour Briefs

Pirates seize boat

AHMEDABAD: Another cargo boat has been hijacked by Somalian pirates near Mogadishu port in the ninth such attack since the weekend, an Indian shipping association said on Wednesday. The latest reported hijacking came a day after the Kutch Vahanvati Association said up to 100 Indian sailors had been seized by Somali pirates who captured up to eight boats in one of their biggest raids yet.

Kasam Ali, president of the shipping association in the western Indian state of Gujarat, told AFP that the latest hijacked vessel had 11 Indian sailors on board when it was overpowered. He said the ship, Al Barari of Dubai, was hijacked by pirates while it was anchored near Mogadishu port.

Kim to visit China

SEOUL: North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il is highly likely to visit China soon, South Korea’s presidential office said on Wednesday, a move that could signal his country’s return to nuclear disarmament talks. “There is a high level of possibility that Kim Jong-Il will pay a visit to China. We are closely monitoring the situation,” presidential spokeswoman Kim Eun-Hye told a briefing, declining to elaborate. Yonhap news cited diplomatic sources as saying he might leave as early as Thursday or Friday and return before the annual meeting of the North’s parliament on April 9.