MOGADISHU/ROME (AFP) - A tug captured by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden Saturday is Italian owned, said an executive for Micoperi Marine Contractors, the boats owners. Ten Italians, five Romanians and a Croat are on board, the companys owner Claudio Bartolotti told AFP from Ravenna, northern Italy, where the company is based. Earlier reports had suggested that the boat was US-owned but operating under an Italian flag. At around noon (1000 GMT) the company had got word that Somali pirates had captured their boat, the Buccaneer, a 75-metre vessel, said Bartolotti. Saturdays attack was just the latest in a series of raids on international shipping in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Somali pirates have continued to operate despite the presence of an international task force gathered to defend shipping in what is one of the worlds busiest shipping lanes. Earlier, another group holding a US captain hostage warned against any attempt to free him. French Defence Minister Herve Morin meanwhile defended Fridays marine raid on a French yacht in the region that left one hostage and two pirates dead. Meanwhile, pirate commander Abdi Garad, speaking from the northern Somali pirate lair of Eyl, told AFP that US Captain Richard Phillips would be moved from the lifeboat where he was being held to another ship off the Somali coast. US Navy forces have been pouring into the region amid the standoff over Philipps, who has been held hostage since Wednesday, since the Danish-operated container ship he commanded was attacked. The four pirates hijacked the Maersk Alabama, carrying 5,000 tonnes of UN aid destined for African refugees. Any attempt to free him would be disastrous, warned Garad. Im afraid this matter is likely to create disaster because its taking too long and we are getting information that the Americans are planning rescue tricks like the French commandos did, he said. Somali elders and parents of pirates holding the American were trying to free the American on Saturday without any guns or ransom, said Mwangura in a statement from Kenya. But a spokesman for Somalias Shebab group backed the recent rash of pirate attacks. I believe that the pirates are not wrong to hijack the ships because there is no reason for the international ships to use Somalias waters, Sheikh Muktar Robow told reporters in the south-central Somali city of Baidoa. Fridays raid by French marines came six days after the yacht, the Tanit, was seized in the Gulf of Aden. Although French forces freed three adults and a three-year-old boy, a fourth man, Florent Lemacon, the owner of the yacht and the childs father, was killed.