Pirates hijack British luxury yacht off Seychelles

April 3rd, 2009 - 2:17 am ICT by IANS  

London, April 3 (DPA) Pirates have hijacked a British luxury yacht off the coast of Seychelles, the tour group that owns the boat reported Thursday.
The ship’s passengers had disembarked shortly before the attack Wednesday, said a spokeswoman for Aquatours Thursday. However, the seven-member crew of the Indian Ocean Explorer was taken hostage.

The attack occurred near the Aldabra Atoll in the Indian Ocean. The site, a Unesco world heritage site, is a favourite for divers and naturalists.

The ship was taken into Somali waters after the attack, said a spokesman with the International Maritime Bureau in London.

The group has noted a sharp spike in piracy incidents in the last month along the eastern coast of Somalia, with 15 successful hijacks in March, up from two in February and none in January.

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