Oil tanker reportedly hijacked off coast of Somalia

It is believed to be Somali pirates' first hijacking of a commercial ship since 2012

Oil tanker reportedly hijacked off coast of Somalia

Image: Google Maps

An oil tanker has been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, officials have said.

Eight Sri Lankan crew members are reported to be on board the Aris 13, which was travelling from Djibouti to the Somali capital Mogadishu,

The incident is said to be the first successful hijacking by Somali pirates of a commercial ship since 2012.

Officials told Reuters that the ship altered course to travel towards the Somali port town of Alula yesterday. 

A distress call had been sent, but the tracking system has since been turned off.

According to Associated Press, a spokesperson for the EU naval force operation off Somalia confirmed an incident had occurred. 

Speaking to Reuters, John Steed of the aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy said: "The ship reported it was being followed by two skiffs yesterday afternoon. Then it disappeared."