MOGADISHU: Somali pirates boarded a Panama-flagged ship heading for Mogadishu on Thursday and killed its Syrian captain after he refused to turn the vessel away from the port, officials said.
"The pirates killed the captain after he refused to turn the ship. Usually, we send police when commercial ships draw near the port but the pirates were already on board and opened fire injuring one policeman," Abdiasis Hassan, minister for ports, told Reuters.
African Union peacekeeping troops and Somali police rescued the ship, officials said.
"The captain was a Syrian and his body is at the port now. The ship's name is Barwaqo," Ahmed Abdi, a port official, told Reuters.