Somali pirates hijacked a Turkish ship off the lawless Horn of Africa country on Wednesday in the latest in a wave of attacks, Turkish and Kenyan maritime officials said, according to Reuters.

The MV Yasa Neslihan had 20 Turkish crew when pirates seized the ship in Aden Bay as it was carrying iron ore from Canada to China, state news agency Anatolian said, quoting the Turkish Under Secretariat for Maritime Affairs.

"We have lost contact with the ship for the last 24 hours. There is no contact or demand for a ransom from the pirates yet. According to the information we have the ship is in Aden Bay in Somalia," Fehmi Ulgener, an official at the company that owns the ship told Turkish NTV broadcaster.

Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers` Assistance Programme, said a Turkish ship had been hijacked on Wednesday but said no more details were available.

Somali pirates have been causing havoc in one of the world`s busiest shipping areas connecting Europe to Asia and the Middle East, taking millions in ransoms, hiking insurance costs, and threatening humanitarian supplies.

Responding to a U.N. request, NATO ships have begun anti-piracy operations off Somalia.