BOSASSO, March 16 Somali maritime forces have
exchanged gunfire with the hijackers of an oil tanker in the
semi-autonomous region of Puntland, the head of the maritime
"We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to
the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the
pirate boat escaped," said Abdirahman Mohamud Hassan, the
director general of the maritime force in the semiautonomous
northern region of Puntland.
Pirate Abdulaahi claimed the pirates killed a member of the
marine force and injured another, but Hassan said that was
Residents near the ship, which was hijacked on Monday with
eight Sri Lankan crew aboard, confirmed hearing the gunfire.
(Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; writing by Katharine Houreld;
Editing by Hugh Lawson)