iROME - Pirates attacked an Italian cargo ship with a crew of 23 in the Gulf of Oman Tuesday but have so far failed to gain control, Italy's coastguard said.
"Right now, the ship is performing evasive manoeuvres to escape from the pirates who have failed to take control," Ansa news agency quoted the coastguard command as saying.
The captain of the 225-meter-long "Michele Bottiglieri" grain carrier, an Italian, sent a SOS via satellite to the operation center of Italy's coastguard command.
The coastguard immediately alerted naval forces operating in the area, including an Italian navy ship, for a possible rescue, officials said.
Three of the crew of the Michele Bottiglieri, which is registered in Torre del Greco near Naples, are Italian while the others are Filipinos.