Pirates seize ship with 29 Chinese sailors aboard: Report

Waters of Arabian Sea have seen hundreds of pirate attacks in recent years.

Beijing: Pirates have seized a ship carrying 29 Chinese sailors in the Arabian Sea, Beijing`s official Xinhua news agency quoted the China Marine Rescue Centre as saying.

The Panamanian-registered freighter, the "Yuan Xiang", was hijacked late on Friday, Xinhua said on Saturday.

The China Marine Rescue Centre said it had not been able to contact the ship`s crew and that the fate of the sailors remained unclear.

The centre received a report from the Ningbo Hongyuan Ship Management Co, Ltd saying the ship had been attacked by pirates late on Friday.

Xinhua said that the pirates had told the shipping company that the vessel was sailing towards Somalia.

The centre said that efforts were under way through international anti-piracy organisations to rescue the crew.

The waters of the Arabian Sea, at the northern tip of the Indian Ocean, have seen hundreds of pirate attacks in recent years.

The United Nations has warned that Somali pirates are becoming more brazen and keeping ahead of the international naval force seeking to control them.

The pirates have kidnapped almost 100 new crew and passengers from ships in less than a month and there are now at least 438 seafarers and 20 ships held by bandits, according to figures from the International Maritime Organisation.

The pirates announced earlier this month they had received a record USD 9 million ransom for a South Korean supertanker.

Bureau Report