Pirates attack ship with Indian crew in Gulf

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Manama (Bahrain), Aug 31 (ANI): A traditional wooden ship with Indian crew sailing from the United Arab Emirates toward Bahrain was targeted by the sea pirates in Persian Gulf waters on Friday late night.

The details of the attack started coming out only after three day.

According to sources the Bahraini dhow was intercepted on Friday night by another ship with an armed crew.

This was the first act of piracy reported inside the Gulf since the issue of piracy came to the forefront of international attention off the Somali coast in recent years.

The four pirates threatened the six-man Indian crew with guns and assaulted them before taking their cargo of fish and mobile phones, sources added.

The crew could not confirm the nationality of the pirates. The Indian sailors were unharmed and were released near Bahraini port on Sunday, sources said.

In recent months Somali pirates had expanded their operations beyond the Somali coast and the Gulf of Aden reaching areas as far as the east coast of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

According to the study of London-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB), piracy attacks around the world were doubled in the first six months of 2009. The IMB recorded 240 as compared to 114 reported in the same period last year.

In July the US Navy 5th Fleet Command in Bahrain warned against increased pirate activity off the Somali coast when the monsoon season ends.

The fleet had established a combined task force with NATO and European Union forces in January to counter the piracy activity in and around the Gulf of Aden, Red Sea, Arabian Sea, and Somalia basin.

Russia, China, and India also sent warships to the area to help protect and convoy vessels. (ANI)

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