Authorities say Somali pirates armed with grenade launchers hijacked a Chinese fishing boat and are holding the 24 crew members hostage.
The boat, owned by Tianjin Ocean Fishing Co., was overrun off the coast of Kenya and sailed to waters off the Somalian port city of Kismanya, Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, reported Saturday.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it was assessing the situation and doing everything within its power to ensure the crew members’ safe release, Xinhua reported.
The crew members, who were taken hostage late Thursday, reportedly are “fine,” a Somali pirate leader told Chinese authorities.
Yemeni coast guards patrolling the Gulf of Aden to prevent piracy in 2006. A Turkish-flagged tanker with a 14-man Turkish crew was hijacked Wednesday by pirates off Yemen, the Anatolia news agency reported, quoting the Turkish maritime agency.(AFP/File/Khaled Fazaa)