World Bulletin / News Desk
Eleven sailors of different nationalities have reportedly been taken hostage by the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab after their Kenyan-owned ship was stranded at remote village on the Somali coast, according a maritime official and a local Somali clan elder.
"We had received a distress call from the ship on Thursday," Andrew Mwangura, the Secretary-General of the Seafarers Union of Kenya and a known negotiator between pirates and ship owners, told Anadolu Agency on Friday.
He said the ship, Kenyan-owned MV Jamila, had developed mechanical problems and was forced to dock at Meyraley village, which is about 100kms from Mogadishu port where it had unloaded goods.
The ship was headed for the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
"But tonight I have [received] information that Al-Shabaab had taken the crew hostage," said Mwangura.
The crew reportedly comprises six Kenyans, including the captain and the engineer, four Tanzanians and one Somali.
According to a local Somali elder and a security officer, a convoy of Al-Shabaab rebels had arrived at the village and took the crew hostage.
The ship had already been looted by locals before the arrival of the rebels, they said.
The crew is believed to be held in Awale, a stronghold of the militant group in the Middle Shabelle region of Somalia.
"There has been no ransom demand so far," Mwangura told AA. "We are still monitoring the development."
Piracy off the coast of Somali has been on the rise since 2007.Last Mod: 12 Temmuz 2014, 13:58