(Xinhua) -- Security forces from
Somalia’s Galmudug State on Wednesday rescued eight of the 11
Indian crew members who had been kidnapped from a cargo ship and
taken ashore by pirates.
District Commissioner of Hobyo
town Abdulahi Ahmed Ali confirmed that the sailors were rescued
without resistance from the pirates after the security forces
overwhelmed them in the central town of Hobyo.
"I can confirm that all eight Indian hostages who were being
held by pirates were rescued, we have them and they are safe and
in good health," Ali said.
Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, deputy commander of the maritime
force in Galmudug State, said their forces captured three
"The security forces overwhelmingly besieged them and the
pirates tried to flee, but three of them were captured.
freed crew are safe and healthy," Ahmed said.
John Steed, regional manager of not-for-profit group Oceans
Beyond Piracy, also confirmed the release of the Indian hostages
who were believed to be being held between the vicinity of Hobyo
and Haradhere in central Somalia.
The Indian vessel Al Kausar carrying wheat and sugar was
hijacked while en route from Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)
to Bosasso in Somalia.
The ship was released by Somalia security forces on Monday
night but some of the 11 crew members were taken ashore.
not clear whether the kidnapped crew were eight or nine.
The pirating of the Indian dhow on April 1 came after the
fuel tanker, Aris 13, was held for four days by armed pirates.
Al Kausar was one of three foreign vessels to be hijacked
after a five-year lull.
The release of the Indian vessel came after Indian and
Chinese navies on Sunday freed a Tuvalu-registered vessel that
had been boarded by pirates.
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 as they see no
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