British military reports pirate attack off Somalia

British military reports pirate attack off Somalia

The British military has reported a suspected pirate attack in the Indian Ocean, almost 1,100 km east of Mogadishu, Somalia's coastal capital. The attackers took control of a ship after boarding from two boats, according to information provided.

According to a statement from the British Army's Maritime Commerce Operation, several individuals on board two boats, a large and a small, boarded a ship in the Indian Ocean. The attackers managed to take control of the ship, without further details being provided in the press release.

British maritime security company Ambrey reported that 20 armed attackers took control of the ship as it sailed from Maputo, Mozambique, to Hamriya, United Arab Emirates.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia peaked in 2011, but declined significantly thereafter, largely due to the presence of the U.S. Navy and its allies in international waters. However, in recent months, concerns about further attacks have increased, with at least two incidents reported in December.

One of the incidents involved a commercial vessel seized by heavily armed individuals near the town of Eyl, off the coast of Somalia. The other concerns a Maltese-flagged merchant vessel hijacked in the Arabian Sea and moved to the same area off the coast of Somalia.