A Kenyan-based merchant vessel was attacked by suspected Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia on Friday in the first such attack since this year.
Kenya’s maritime official said the ill-fated vessel, dubbed MV Andrea, was attacked by assailants aboard a white hulled skiff while underway to the port of Mogadishu, Somalia.
“The crew members aboard the vessel are reported to be safe and sound since no one was injured during the gun fight,” Kenya Seafarers Union (KSU) Secretary General Andrew Mwangura told Xinhua in Mombasa.
Mwangura said the ship with 17 crew members, majority being Kenyans, was attacked by heavily armed gunmen. He said the security men aboard the merchant ship were able to dispel the attack.
Mwangura said the vessel was exporting cargo to Mogadishu before going to Comoros Islands. He said the security team aboard the merchant ship returned gunfire, forcing the gunmen to abort the attack and sail away.
Mwangura told Xinhua the attackers launched two unsuccessful attempts to hijack the ship. All crew members aboard the vessel are reported to be safe and sound.
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Maritime Security News note: We suspect the comment the first such attack since this year’ refers to attacks against Kenyan ships as opposed to merchant ships in general, as we have already seen shots fired against merchant ships in 2014 in the East African HRA.