Firm Says Ship Hijacked Off Somali Coast

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 11:20 am (UTC-5)
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An Italian company says one of its ships appears to have been hijacked off the coast of Somalia.

The D'Alesio Group says the MV Montecristo activated its security alarm Monday evening while located about 1,000 kilometers east of the Somali coast.

The firm says the last message from the captain indicated the ship had been attacked by a vessel with five armed people on board.

The ship is a newly-built bulk carrier put into service only four months ago. The company says it is carrying 23 crew members from Italy, Ukraine and India.

D'Alesio says it is collaborating with Italian and international authorities to respond to the emergency.

Somali pirates are known to attack ships hundreds, even thousands of kilometers off the country's coast. The pirates have made hundreds of millions of dollars seizing ships and crews for ransom over the past few years.