Police say Somali pirates have seized a fishing trawler owned by a local businessman and forced the mostly foreign crew to disembark.
Col. Mohamed Hassan told The Associated Press on Friday that the pirates used a small skiff to board the trawler off the village of Eyl in the northern semiautonomous state of Puntland.
Hassan says the pirates likely will use the trawler as a mother ship to carry out hijackings in international waters.
The incident comes shortly after Somali pirates seized an oil tanker and its Sri Lankan crew for several days — the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel in the area in five years.
International anti-piracy patrols on the crucial trade route had calmed such attacks, which once numbered in the hundreds.