Somali pirates have hijacked a Japanese-owned chemical tanker in the latest such seizure in the Horn of Africa nation's notoriously lawless waters, a regional maritime official and a piracy watchdog said on Monday.
Andrew Mwangura, head of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said shipping sources in both Somalia and Japan had confirmed the vessel was seized eight nautical miles offshore on Sunday morning.
"We are trying to establish what demands they have, and how many people were on board," Mwangura told Reuters by telephone from the Kenyan port city of Mombasa.
"There are five well-organized pirate groups operating in Somali waters. We know the one which took this boat," he said.
An official from the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur identified the vessel as the 12,000 deadweight-tonne Golden Nory.
"She has been taken into Somali waters, and we haven't heard anything from her since," the official said....