Somali fishermen holding an oil tanker with an eight-member crew is demanding a five million US dollar ransom for their release.
The demand has been conveyed to Aurora Ship Management in the UAE, which manages the ship for its owner, Armi Shipping of Panama.
Aris 13 is being held at Alula, a port in Gardafue region in Puntland northeastern Somalia.
A tribal leader in the area has told foreign media via satellite telephone that an armed group of fishermen Angry from illegal fishing vessels which destroyed their property and their small boats has boarded the ship.
The merchant ship was intercepted while en route to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, from Djibouti, on March 13.
In recent years, local officials have warned that rampant fishing by foreign trawlers was destroying the livelihoods of coastal communities in Somalia and particularly in northeastern regions stoking fears of a return of piracy as a way to make money. They have blamed Yemeni, Chinese, Indian, Thailand, Iranian and Djibouti-flagged fishing boats and trawlers.
news and reports from somalia updated frequently