Somali pirates hijack ship with 23 crew members

Somali pirates hijacked a ship with 23 crew, and a Danish warship freed a hijacked Yemeni fishing vessel that had been held for nearly a year, maritime authorities said Sunday.

The Maltese-flagged bulk carrier MV Sinin had 13 Iranians and 10 Indians onboard when it came under attack Saturday, the European Union Naval Force said. The ship subsequently lost communications and a maritime patrol aircraft photographed two skiffs onboard the vessel. The MV Sinin was taken about 350 miles (560 kilometers) east of Masirah in Oman.

In a separate incident, a Danish warship freed a hijacked fishing vessel and arrested 16 suspected Somali pirates, NATO said.

The HDMS Esbern Snare stopped a suspicious vessel with two skiffs on deck. The warship fired warning shots and sent a boarding party to the hijacked Yemeni vessel.

NATO said there were 16 suspected pirates and two Yemeni hostages onboard. The original fishing crew of nine people had been held for a year but most of them had been released.

Sometimes owners of small vessels without insurance are unable to raise the ransoms demanded by the pirates.

Somalia has not had a functioning government in two decades, and piracy has flourished off its coast.