After experiencing technical difficulties 120 nautical miles north-east of Mogadishu near the village of Meyraley, a Kenyan-flagged merchant vessel became stranded and was subsequently boarded and looted by locals according to media sources in the region.
The ship had just departed Mogadishu after dropping off cargo and was bound for Mombasa, according to Harar24 News. The crew of the vessel was subsequently taken hostage by members of Al-Shabaab and moved to an unknown location inside Somalia.
Intelligence firm Dryad Maritime notes today that there has been little recent reporting of Al-Shabaab influence in that particular region and this incident, if confirmed, is likely as a result of an opportunist kidnap for ransom by Al Shabaab.
The firm recommends all vessels to remain outside of 300 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia and strict adherence to the BMP 4 anti-piracy measures.