Somalia’s Puntland forces temporarily seize ship

The authorities in Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland have confirmed temporarily seizing a Panama-flagged ship travelling from the United Arab Emirates to Mogadishu port, contradicting previous reports that it had been seized by pirates.

Puntland’s Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Mohamud Salah, told the BBC that the ship, with 20 crew members on board, had developed a technical problem and was stranded for three days on a beach near Bareda in the Bari region, raising suspicion among locals.

“Our forces who boarded the ship have now disembarked and it seems the ship had technical faults. When they are able to fix this mechanical issue, it’s free to sail again and proceed with its journey.

Piracy off the coast of Somalia has reduced significantly in recent years, in part because of extensive international military patrols.