Suspected Somali pirates Monday hijacked an Italian ship with 23 crew members, including six Indians, onboard, a former regional maritime official said.
According to the Italian-based firm which manages the ship, Dalmare Spa, the vessel was carrying a consignment of iron materials, Xinhua reported.
"The Vessel was hijacked on Oct. 10 in Gulf of Aden or further to the east at about 0700, no communications after that. Crew are 23, 7 Italians, 10 Ukrainians, 6 Indians," Dalmare said in a statement posted on the firm's website.
Andrew Mwangura, the maritime editor of the Somalia Report said the pirates seized the Italian-flagged Montecristo, some 620 nautical miles (1,148 km) from the Somali coast.
Mwnagura said Montecristo was heading to Vietnam when it came under attack approximately 450 nautical miles Northwest of Socotra, Yemen.
The Gulf of Aden, a body of water between Somalia and Yemen, is the main sea route between Europe and Asia. Tankers carrying Middle East oil through the Suez Canal must pass first through the Gulf of Aden.