Somali pirates strike; hijack vessel with 11 Indians onboard

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Crude carrier
Mumbai, May 12: After a brief lull in the pirate attack, suspected Somali pirates have hit again after they hijacked a Liberian oil tanker MT Smymi off the coast of Oman. There are reports that eleven Indians are among the crew who are held captive.

The oil tanker is a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) carrying around 1,35,000 tonnes of oil. The company owning a vessel is understood to be of Greece origin. This latest news of a hijack comes at a time even when MV Iceberg-1 still remains in captivity. This makes the MV Iceberg the longest-held ship by Somali pirates. The sailors of this ship have spent close to two years in captivity since Mar 2010.

MV Iceberg was captured by the pirates in Yemen at the port of Aden on Mar 29, 2010. The families have tried their hands at getting help from the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, External Affairs Minister SM Krishna, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, the Director General (Shipping) and even Baba Ramdev, but all their efforts have gone in vain.

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