Ten Chinese sailors were among those captured by suspected pirates when they
seized two South Korean-owned fishing ships off Somalia, Xinhua News Agency
The Chinese Embassy in Kenya was urgently trying to learn the condition of
the sailors and secure their release, according to the report.
Twenty-two sailors were aboard the two ships when they were seized Tuesday.
The other nationalities onboard were South Korean, Indian and Vietnamese, the
report said, without giving a specific breakdown.
A suspected pirate sails off the Somali coast in 2006. Gunmen
have seized two South Korean-owned fishing ships and taken their crews
hostage in the Indian Ocean off the coast of
The Xinhua report quoted Andrew Mwangura, coordinator of the Mombasa,
Kenya-based Seafarers Assistance Program.
China's Foreign Ministry could not immediately confirm the report. A duty
officer who refused to give her name said the incident was being investigated.
The South Korean Foreign Ministry has said about 30 people, including four
South Koreans, were aboard the ships when they were taken about 180 nautical
miles off Somalia.
South Korea said the vessels were registered in Tanzania and were on their
way to Yemen from the Kenyan port of Mombasa. They were identified by Xinhua as
the Mavuno 1 and Mavuno 2.
Somalia lies close to crucial shipping routes connecting the Red Sea with the
Indian Ocean, where valuable cargo and carriers must pass.
The country's 3,000-kilometer (1,880-mile) coastline makes it difficult to
prevent attacks. Somali pirates are trained fighters, often dressed in military
fatigues, using speedboats equipped with satellite phones and Global Positioning