Iranian state television is reporting 14 crew members from a fishing boat have been kidnapped by the Islamic militant group al-Shabab off the coast of Somalia.

On Wednesday night, the television station's scrolling news bar announced the kidnapping, saying the vessel owned by an Iranian fishing organization suffered a technical fault near the Somali coast.

The station said the kidnapping happened Wednesday without elaborating. The Somali militants did not immediately claim responsibility for the abductions.

Al-Shabab is a Somalia-based extremist group with ties to al-Qaida.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia once was a serious threat to the global shipping industry, but attacks have dropped dramatically the last several years after ships began carrying armed guards.