Pirates seized a roll-on roll-off ship named MV Iceberg 1 with 24 crew members off the port of Aden on Monday, a maritime monitoring agency said.
It was the third ship reported to have been seized by pirates in the waters off east Africa since Saturday.
"The owners reported to NATO that pirates boarded the ro-ro vessel MV Iceberg 1 today just 10 miles outside Aden Port in the Gulf of Aden," said the Kenyan-based Ecoterra.
"The vessel with her 24 member crew is now commandeered towards the Somali coast." Ecoterra gave no more information on the hijacked vessel.
Somali buccaneers are highly active off the coast of Somalia, increasing the range of their attacks, acquiring millions of dollars in ransoms and defying a flotilla of foreign warships that is trying to monitor the region's sea lanes.
Somali pirates also seized a Seychelles fishing boat and its six crew 60 miles off the coast of the archipelago's main island, a pirate source and the boat owner's sister said.
"We've been informed by the (Seychelles) authorities ... that Somalis have captured the boat. When they were captured they were about 60 miles off the island of Mahe," said Kerry Mathieu, sister of the owner of the fishing boat Galate.
"We had six crew on board, all Seychellois. We've had no contact with the crew since they were hijacked," she told Reuters.
The Seychelles coastguard's acting chief, Major George Adeline, said it had a vessel monitoring the hijacked boat, now 200 miles off the archipelago's capital Mahe.
A pirate source said two ships were hijacked at the weekend.
"We hijacked two boats on Saturday night and Sunday in the Indian Ocean," pirate Hussein told Reuters. "One is an Iranian tourist boat with 21 crew, and the other is a Seychelles boat with six crew."
There was no independent confirmation that the Iranian boat had been seized.
Sea gangs have plagued the busy shipping lanes off Somalia for years. As well as holding some ships for ransom, pirates also hijack vessels to use as 'motherships' which ferry the gunmen and their speedboats far out to sea.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 30 Mart 2010, 00:13