Somalia pirates hijack Indian boats

NEW DELHI: India is investigating the hijacking of several boats off the coast of Somalia amid news reports that eight vessels and 120 Indian sailors have been seized.

“There is truth in the fact some boats have been hijacked but we still don’t know how many and when,” a military source told AFP asking not to be named.

The Times of India newspaper and CNN-IBN television network said the eight vessels were on their way from Somalia to Dubai when they were hijacked, adding that the sailors were from the western state of Gujarat, which has a large fishing boat fleet.

“They had anchored last in the rebel territory of Kismayo in Somalia where they loaded cargo into their boats. But moments after leaving the port, pirates captured them,” the Times of India said on its website.

No ransom demand has been made so far, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources, while the ships are believed to be near the Seychelles.

The military source told AFP that the Indian navy was working with Indian shipping authorities, as well as foreign navies around the coast of Somalia, to confirm details of the hijackings.