Colombo, Jan 31 (Agencies): The Sri Lankan Fisheries Ministry said on Tuesday that Somali pirates killed two crew members and took three others hostage after seizing its fishing vessel.

Pirates captured the boat as it strayed into Somali waters on January 27, the ministry's Director Lal Silva said.

The captured fishermen, who left Sri Lanka's southern town of Mirissa on January 4, had alerted Sri Lankan authorities, Silva said.

"Three fishermen were taken hostage. The two who were killed were thrown overboard by the pirates," Silva said.

He said the exact whereabouts of the fishermen was not known. Sri Lanka has no diplomatic presence in Somalia.

Twenty Sri Lankan sailors were among a multinational crew captured by Somali pirates in March last year and subsequently released after their employers reportedly paid ransom money.