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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Somalia pirates hijack Indian commercial vessel with 11 crew

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian commercial ship with 11 crew members on board off the coast of Somalia, a regional maritime official confirmed on Monday.

John Steed, the regional manager of Oceans Beyond Piracy, a non-government organization, said the Indian-flagged vessel was heading to Somalia shores from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates at the time of hijack..

"We have received information about the hijack of Indian vessel with 11 crew members on board.

"All crew are Indians and were hijacked off the coast of Somalia on April 1," Steed told Xinhua by telephone.

There were no details of the crew or destination but some reports said that attack happened some 50 km south of the port town of Hobyo.

The latest hijacked comes two weeks after the pirates hijacked oil tanker en route to Mogadishu but released the boat reportedly without conditions.

No ransom demand has been put forward so far.

Somali pirates tend to be well-armed with automatic weapons and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and sometimes use skiffs launched from mother vessels, which may be hijacked fishing vessels or dhows, to conduct attacks far from the Somali coast.

Since Somali piracy is largely a hijack-for-ransom business, it relies heavily on onshore support for infrastructure that provides food, water, fuel and the leafy narcotic khat to the militiamen who guard the hijacked ships throughout the ransom negotiation process.

The Horn of Africa has itself also suffered considerably from the impact of piracy.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Somali pirates hijack Indian cargo ship with 11 people on board

NEW DELHI (Xinhua) -- Somali pirates have hijacked an Indian cargo ship with 11 crew members onboard, local media reports said Monday.

The ship named Al Kaushar according to New Delhi based television news channel -- India Today -- was hijacked on Saturday while on its way to Al Mukala port in Yemen from Dubai.

All the crew members are said to be Indians from Mandvi in Mumbai (Maharashtra).

Reports said captain of the ship had informed owners of ship as well as authorities in Dubai about the incident.

Indian officials so far have not issued any statement about the hijacking.

The officials in navy and ministry of external affairs have been notified about the hijacking, reports said.

Pirates often attack cargo ships in international waters in absence of patrolling.
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UPDATES:

Indian registered cargo dhow was seized by suspected pirates

EU NAVFOR -- EU Naval Force can confirm that an Indian registered cargo dhow was seized by suspected pirates on 01 April and is now in the vicinity of Hobyo, Somalia.

An EU Naval Force maritime patrol aircraft has confirmed the exact location of the dhow and has attempted to establish radio communications but without success.

Investigations and operations are ongoing.

Further updates will follow.
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South Africa extends anti-piracy mission in Mozambique Channel

CAPE TOWN (Xinhua) -- South African President Jacob Zuma has extended the employment of members of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) for service in the Mozambique channel on anti-piracy operations, the Presidency said on Monday.

This is in fulfillment of the international obligations of South Africa towards the Southern African Development Community (SADC) maritime security, the Presidency said.

The employment of the 200 SANDF members has been extended for the period April 1, 2017 to March 31, 2018, said the Presidency.

The mission of the SANDF members is to monitor and deter piracy activities along the Southern African Coast of the Indian Ocean.

They will continue monitoring and deterring piracy activities along the Southern African Coast of the Indian Ocean, presidential spokesperson Bongani Ngqulunga said.

The SANDF has provided a permanent presence in the Mozambique Channel since January 2011 on Operation Copper, which is primarily an anti-piracy operation, in which the SANDF has deployed a rotation of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPV’s), Frigates and Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA).

The likelihood of a piracy incident taking place in the Mozambique Channel is probably at its highest level since 2010, the SANDF said recently.

South Africa got involved in anti-piracy operations following a call for assistance from Mozambique.
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FURTHER READING:

Ocean going dhow, the Asayr 2, has been hijacked by Somalia pirates

Pakistani Ship, PNS Tippu Sultan, Joining Counter Piracy Task Force

             

 

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