The pirates around the Indian Ocean hijacked a Bangladesh-flagged cargo vessel on Tuesday and held hostage all the 23 crew members, Bangladeshi officials confirmed.

The pirates are suspected to be Somalis as the coast is located in that country, Mohammad Maksud Alam, director general at the Department of Shipping, Bangladesh, told Anadolu.

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“The cargo ship named MV Abdullah was carrying coal from Mozambique's Maputo port to Al Hamriyah Port of UAE. The pirates have taken control of the ship. The crew informed us they (pirates) have heavy arms,” he added.

“All the crew members, however, are safe and the government is working to rescue them and the vessel using all possible diplomatic channels,” he added.

The vessel belongs to Bangladeshi SR Shipping Lines, the official confirmed.

Earlier, in 2010, another vessel of SR Shipping was hijacked by pirates in the Arabian Sea.