Indian sailors freed from Somali pirates on way home

Barsaba Taglieri
Aprile 14, 2017

An official says Somalia's military has rescued 8 Indian crew members who had been held hostage by pirates.

Security forces from the semi-autonomous Galmudug region rescued two crew members in the boat Sunday night, but pirates escaped to land and have nine of the Indian crew, Abdullahi Ahmed Ali, the mayor of Hobyo, told The Associated Press.

The two crew were in a auto that the pirates had to abandon after they were chased, Galmudug's vice president said. Although safe, the sailors looked exhausted and hungry due to their long ordeal.

Swaraj also thanked India's High Commissioner in Kenya Suchitra Durai for her efforts in securing the release of the Indians.

Two were freed on Monday when the Somali security forces liberated the vessel.

The Indian crew members were rescued by Somali troops on Wednesday near the coastal town of Hobyo.

In recent weeks there has been a resurgence of piracy off Somalia's coast after five years of inactivity.

The pirating of the Indian dhow on April 1 came after the fuel tanker, Aris 13, was held for four days by armed pirates. Somalia's piracy was once a serious threat to the global shipping industry.

Residents of the Somali coastline say piracy has resumed after local authorities issued permits for foreign fishing vessels to fish in Somali waters.

The Al Kausar vessel was seized earlier this month, part of a sudden string of attacks by Somali pirates after years without a reported incident.

Chinese naval forces may have captured Somali pirate leader Aw Koombe during the rescue of the bulker OS 35 last weekend.

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