Bosaso(Mogadishu24)-A fishing boat belonging to Iran was hijacked on Wednesday by a group of men suspected to be pirates off the coast of Qandala district in Bari region, northeast Somalia’s Puntland State.

The Puntland naval forces reported that the pirates have escaped, and further details on where they have taken the boat are unknown.

Qandala District Governor, Ahmed Yussuf Khurshe confirmed the incident to the media, stating that the boat, along with an unspecified number of workers, was hijacked.

“An Iranian boat, licensed to operate in Puntland State administration, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen suspected to be pirates. The boat was accompanied by several staff, although the guard was on leave. The number of staff kidnapped is not yet known,” said Governor.

He added that the Puntland State Police Forces and the Navy forces are conducting operations to pursue the pirates and make arrests.

This is the second time in two weeks that a fishing boat owned by Iranian workers has been kidnapped by pirates.

Last week, pirates hijacked a Yemeni boat with 16 Iranian workers and a Somali guard in the coastal district of Eyl in the Nugal region, Puntland State of Somalia.

The boat managers reported that they had contacted the armed group responsible for the kidnapping, who demanded $400,000 in ransom to release the boat and its staff.

On Sunday, pirates launched an attack and fired missiles targeting a USS Warship, USN Mason, in the Gulf of Aden.

Although it was foiled by the US Navy, initial indications from U.S. officials at the Pentagon suggested that Somali pirates attacked the product tanker Central Park.

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