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 coast of Bossaso, the commercial hub of 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.