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EU NAVFOR -- Chinese PLA Navy warship Yulin and Pakistan Navy warship Tippu Sultan monitor MV OS-35 after successful rescue operation. EU Naval Force confirms that cargo ship, MV OS-35, that was attacked by suspected armed pirates on Saturday 8 April, is safe and en route to port after successful cooperation between international counter-piracy naval forces in the Gulf of Aden. PHOTO - EU NAVFOR

Cargo Ship MV OS-35 successfully freed from Somali pirate control

EU NAVFOR -- EU Naval Force confirms that cargo ship, MV OS-35, that was attacked by suspected armed pirates on Saturday 8 April, is safe and en route to port after successful cooperation between international counter-piracy naval forces in the Gulf of Aden.

Naval forces became aware of the attack after MV OS-35’s master sent out a mayday alert to say that armed men had climbed on board his ship. The master and crew were able to secure themselves in a safe room, known as a citadel.

Upon hearing the alert, EU Naval Force’s Maritime Security Centre (Horn of Africa) immediately issued a navigation warning to all merchant shipping to warn them that a piracy incident had taken place.

Following close coordination between warships from the Combined Maritime Forces, Chinese PLA Navy and Indian Navy, a boarding team from a PLA Navy warship embarked MV OS-35 and freed the crew.

The photograph of MV OS-35 was taken from EU Naval Force warship, ITS Espero, which contributed to the coordinated effort.

ITS Espero is now continuing with her counter-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden to help deter and disrupt acts of piracy.
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EARLIER REPORTS:

EU naval force probes hijack of cargo vessel in Gulf of Aden

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The EU naval force in Somalia is investigating reports of possible hijack of a cargo ship over the weekend in the Gulf of Aden amid resurgence of piracy off the coast of Somalia.

"EU Naval Force is working with counter-piracy partners to investigate reports of a possible piracy incident involving a cargo vessel on Saturday in the Gulf of the Aden," it said in a statement on Sunday.

"Further information will be provided by the EU Naval Force once facts about the incident are confirmed."

A merchant ship designed for the bulk transport of oil was briefly hijacked by Somali pirates on Saturday evening but later abandoned on Sunday before naval forces freed the vessel, reports said.

The latest incident came after the United Nations warned that recent attacks on commercial ships off the coast of Somalia highlight the continued threat of piracy.

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) called on ships to follow advice of navies and that of the International Maritime Organization while planning passage through the region.

"After three attacks, following a lull of five years, it is clear that Somali pirates are resurgent and intent on continuing attacks on commercial shipping," UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov said in a statement on April 4.

"I urge the international community to be vigilant, to work in close partnership and to hold the Somali pirates accountable," he added.

In March, Somali pirates attacked two vessels and a cargo ship.

While the crews of the two vessels were later released, the cargo ship’s crew are still held hostage, reports said.

According to UNODC, large parts of the Somali coast remain beyond the reach of law enforcement authorities.

Somali pirates have in the past received hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom from hijacking vessels.

Some hostages were injured or killed in the process.

The pirates tend to be well armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenades (RPG).

They sometimes use skiffs launched from mother vessels, which may be hijacked fishing vessels or dhows, to conduct attacks far from the Somali coast.
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Indian cargo ship released while nine hostages 'missing'

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Somalia security forces have rescued an Indian cargo ship which was hijacked by Somali pirates on April 1 but nine members of the 11-crew are missing, a regional maritime official said on Tuesday.

John Steed, the regional manager of not for profit group, Oceans Beyond Piracy said the hostages are believed to be being held between the vicinity of Hobyo and Haradhere in central Somalia.

"The Indian ship was released by Somalia security forces on Monday night but nine of the 11 crew members are missing having been taken ashore by the pirates.

"The vessel is sailing away," Steed told Xinhua by telephone.

The pirating of the Indian dhow came after the fuel tanker, Aris 13, was held for four days by armed pirates.

The Indian ship, Al Kausar was one of three foreign vessels to be hijacked after a five-year lull.

"We haven’t established where the hostages were taken," said Steed, noting that Somali pirates are holding 17 hostages from Iran and India.

"The pirates are holding 17 hostages at the moment.

"Eight are Iranians while nine are Indians," Steed said, adding that efforts are underway to secure their release.

Al Kausar was chartered by a Somali businessman and was carrying commercial goods.

The vessel which was en route from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Bosasso in Somalia was hijacked in the vicinity of Socotra (Island).

The release of the Indian vessel comes after sailors from Indian and Chinese Navies on Sunday freed a Tuvalu-registered vessel which had been boarded by pirates.

The vessel had 19 crew members.

Somali pirates tend to be well armed with automatic weapons and rocket propelled grenade (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.

Maritime experts said lack of economic opportunities and the prevalence of illegal fishing are pushing more Somalis to turn to piracy—partly as a form of protest and partly because they see no other options.
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SEE ALSO:

China navy rescues crew and Tuvalua ship from Somalia pirates

FURTHER READING:

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