Image Credit: Gulf News

Nairobi: The European Union Naval Force said that Somali pirates have seized a ship with 20 Filipino crew members onboard.

Lt. Col. Per Klingvall said on Monday that the owners of the Panama-flagged Izumi received an automatically released distress signal on Sunday afternoon, indicating the vessel was likely under attack by pirates.

A Danish warship was sent to investigate and made contact with the Izumi's captain, who reported that the ship was under pirate control.

Yuki Shimoda, an official at Japan's Transport Ministry, said the Japanese-owned vessel was headed from Japan via Singapore to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

A French warship is now in the Indian Ocean monitoring the situation as the Izumi heads toward Somalia.