24 Indians aboard hijacked ship

Posted By: Staff
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Mumbai, Oct 23: The Indian Captain and the Chief officer of MV Al Haliq and 24 Indian sailors were held captive by Somali pirates in a second pirate attack involving Indians at 5.50 am on Wednesday, Oct 21

The 26 member crew ship, of which 24 were Indians was on its way from Novorossiysk in southern Russia to Kenya's Mombasa port when it was captured.

The European Union Naval Force Somalia said,"Within the last hour, the maritime patrol aircraft confirmed the hijack with six pirates on board and two attack skiffs in tow. The mother skiff has already been taken on board with a crane."

The ship came under attack after attempted hijack on a Italian ship MV Jolly Rosso was foiled by patrolling naval forces. After which a maritime patrol aircraft and a Seychelles coast guard ship was tasked to attack position.

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"Pirates aboard two small skiffs opened fire and attacked with rocket-propelled guns. The Italian ship managed to evade the attack as naval forces patrolling the area closed in. But almost at the same time, Al Khaliq reported being under attack. In the last contact with the vessel, it was said that the pirates were on board trying to access the accommodation," said a statement by the European Union Naval Force Somalia.

Captain SC Sehgal, managing director of Mumbai-based SNP Shipping, the owner and operator of the vessel, said that the relatives of the crew members would be informed soon and they will proceed with the negotiations to ensure their safe return as soon as the hijackers get in touch.

Teary eyed, Jyoti Gawde, wife of Mumbai-based Lokesh, one of the captive seamen was inconsolable as she narrated her last conversation with her husband, "He called me from Novorossiysk to wish me on Diwali last week. The managers have promised me that they will bring him back safely,"

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