Pirates may have hijacked Britons' yacht

( Agencies ) Updated: 2010-11-02 09:00:49

NAIROBI - The head of a regional maritime group said on Monday it was investigating reports that Somali pirates had hijacked a yacht with three British citizens aboard in the Indian Ocean.

Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme, said his group had been informed that the yacht had been boarded by pirates near the Seychelles.

"We as yet don't have the name of the yacht nor do we know the gender of the crew, but we are trying to verify this information which we learnt of this evening (Monday)," he said.

The organisation said it was trying to verify conflicting reports that the yacht was taken near Seychelles, or near Lamu, off the Kenyan coast, or near Brava, along the southern Somali coastline, Mwangura said.

Somalia has lacked an effective central government for almost 20 years and is awash with weapons. The mayhem on land has allowed piracy to boom in the strategic sea lanes off its shores linking Europe with Africa and Asia.

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