Somali pirates hijack Japanese tanker-officials

Mon Oct 29, 2007 5:10am EDT

(Update with details, quote)

NAIROBI, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Somali pirates have hijacked a Japanese ship in the latest such seizure in the notoriously lawless waters of the Horn of Africa country, regional maritime officials said on Monday.

Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, said shipping sources in both Somalia and Japan had told him the ship, possibly a tanker, was seized 8.0 nautical miles (14.9 km) offshore on Sunday.

The 12,000 deadweight-tonne Golden Nory was seized late on Sunday night, said an official from the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur.

"She has been taken into Somali waters, and we haven't heard anything from her since," the official said. (Additional reporting by Luke Pachymuthu in Singapore)