Nine Abducted Vessels with 95 Indians Aboard Traced to Mogadishu

Nine boats hijacked by Somali pirates with 95 Indians aboard have been traced to Mogadishu off Somalia and efforts are underway to secure their release, reported PTI quoting unnamed official sources.

Somali pirates, who held 11 dhows (slow-moving vessels) hostage in last 10 days set free two boats with 26 Indians on board, said report.

An official of the Shipping Ministry said that nine other boats with 95 Indians aboard were still in their captivity and were traced to Mogadishu off Somalia, said report.

The official said that government believes that rest of the captured Indians are safe, report said.

“We believe the captured Indians are safe as the pirates have not caused any harm to the seafarers on board two Dhows released so far,” the official was quoted as saying.

Report said that government kept constantly in touch with Indian High Commission in Seychelles and Nairobi, and also contacted Somalian government to ensure safe release of the abducted dhows.

Repeated attacks on Indian vessels prompted the government to issue warning to warning to Dhows about the dangers in those waters, particularly along the sea-lanes of Salalah and Male.

The merchandise conducted on seas is worth about $110 billion annually, with Indians being the major players.

India has positioned a naval warship in the Gulf of Aden region since October 2008 to provide escort to its merchant ships. However, the latest hijackings took place far from the Gulf of Aden, indicating that the pirates are operating much beyond.

Sources said there were indications that the pirates were operating in south of the Indian Ocean as Maldives has spotted some of them.

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