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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

One dead, four injured as Somali pirates clash with Puntland force

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- One person has died and four others were injured on Thursday when Puntland forces engaged in a gun fight with pirates who hijacked a ship in Bari region of northern Somalia.

Ali Shire Mohamud, commissioner of Alula district where the ship is being held, told reporters that the two sides exchanged heavy gunfire in the morning and at noon.

The confrontation occurred when a boat from the shore tried to send supply to the pirates holding the ship, Shire revealed to reporters.

He added that negotiation was ongoing to rescue the hijacked ship and its crew.

Sources revealed that Puntland maritime forces were among those injured in the gun battle.

Pirates on Monday hijacked an oil tanker with 8 crew from Sri Lanka off the coast of Somalia.

The incident came against a backdrop of reduced piracy activities in Somalia. .
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EARLIER REPORTS:

Fighting reported between Puntland force and Somalia pirates who hijacked ship

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Fighting between Puntland anti-pirate forces and armed pirates on Thursday broke out in Alula district in Bari region of northern Somalia.

District Commissioner of Alula Ali Shire Mohamud Osman confirmed to the media that the confrontation happened.

Puntland authorities said earlier that they will send forces to the oil tanker kidnapped by pirates at the coast under its administration.

Local media reported there were casualties on the part of the Puntland forces, but could not identify the number.

It remains early to comment on the situation and the captives of the ship, but pirates threatened that they will defend themselves from everyone who attempts to force them.

Pirates argued that they are fighting illegal ships and boats which are collecting their natural resources, mainly the fish.
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Sri Lankan crew members safe aboard hijacked vessel: official

COLOMBO Sri Lanka (Xinhua) -- Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweeraon said on Thursday that the crew members aboard the vessel hijacked by Somali pirates docked in the Port town of Alula were safe.

The official told reporters here that Sri Lanka is in touch with all necessary sides and keeping a close watch on the situation.

He said the Sri Lankan ambassador to Ethiopia was working closely with the Somali government and Sri Lanka had been informed that it was a piracy situation.

Gunmen believed to be Somali pirates hijacked the small oil tanker Aris 13 on Monday, demanding a ransom to release the ship and its eight Sri Lankan crew, said the EU Naval Force that patrols the waters off Somalia.

It is the first ship to be seized since 2012.

The 1,800 deadweight ton Aris 13 is owned by Panama company Armi Shipping and managed by Aurora Ship Management in the United Arab Emirates, according to the Equasis shipping data website, managed by the French transport ministry.
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SEE ALSO:

Comoros-flagged tanker 'Aris 13' is being held by Somalia pirates

Somalia pirates detain small oil tanker on heading for Mogadishu

             

 

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