A Pakistan-owned cargo vessel MV Salama 1 has been hijacked by Somali pirates, a day after an Indian commercial vessel was similarly commandeered by the buccaneers.
The Pakistani cargo vessel was carrying food when they were captured by the pirates, US media reported. The number of crew on the ship named MV Salama 1 remains unknown.
The MV Salama 1 hijacking was the fourth piracy attack in three weeks. On March 13 pirates hijacked the Sri Lankan-flagged oil tanker Aris 13. It was taken to the coast of Alula town in Puntland but released three days later, after regional Somali forces threatened force. No ransom was paid although local officials said the pirates were given immunity from prosecution.
Then, on March 24, pirates seized the MV Casayr, a Somali fishing boat, to use as a “mother ship” to attack other ships at sea. Ten Yemeni crew aboard the boat were reportedly dumped on shore.
Piracy on the high seas off Somalia had reached its peak between 2008 and 2012, but had since subsided.
At the peak of the piracy crisis in January 2011, 736 hostages and 32 boats were held.
But analysts believe the resurgence of piracy is owing to the growing influence of Islamic State, corruption, drought and famine.—INP