Somali pirates hijack Malaysian tug boat off Yemen
Somali pirates hijacked a Malaysian tugboat off Yemen on Tuesday, a Yemeni maritime source said.
The source at the south-eastern port of Mukalla told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa that the boat was hijacked a few hours after it left the port heading to Malaysia, dpa reported.
The boat was carrying unspecified number of crew members, mainly Malaysians, the source said.
A port official said the tugboat was operated by the French oil firm Total that runs a giant gas-exporting project in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa.
Last week, Somali pirates hijacked two Yemeni fishing in the Gulf of Aden and took 22 fishermen hostage.
Piracy in the Gulf of Aden has surged in recent months as Somalia descends further into chaos and the ineffectual central government continues to squabble rather than govern.
Around 17 ships and 300 crew members are currently in the hands of pirates, including a Saudi supertanker carrying crude oil worth 100 million dollars and a Ukrainian ship carrying a cargo of 33 tanks and other military equipment.