Somali Pirates Killed as Hijacked Boat Freed: Fishermen

Published: 29th November 2015 04:41 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th November 2015 04:41 PM   |  A+A-

By PTI

MOGADISHU: A boat held by Somali pirates has been freed after a gun battle, fishermen and witnesses said today, claiming several of the pirates were killed.

There was no precise information on the boat or the fate of its crew, whether international forces were involved in the rescue, or whether the crew had wrested back control on their own.

However, security sources said the boat was believed to be an Iranian fishing vessel seized earlier this week with 15 crew, held off the central Somali coastline.

"We heard heavy exchange of gunfire... Several of the pirates were killed and a boat they hijacked was freed," said Muktar Yakub, a fisherman in the Harardhere area, adding the boat had now disappeared from sight of the coast.

Local elder Abdulahi Bare said "seven of the pirates were killed and two others were seriously wounded" but the toll could not be independently confirmed.

Piracy peaked in 2011, when Somali pirates held more than 700 hostages, but rates of attacks have tumbled, partly thanks to the posting of armed guards on boats as well as navy patrols.

But experts have warned that rampant illegal fishing by foreign trawlers off Somalia is threatening economic gains and could push communities back to maritime crime.

While illegal fishing was used by many pirates as an excuse for attacks - with an array of vessels seized including yachts, oil tankers and container ships - the issue could encourage a fresh round of piracy.

Dozens of hostages remain in pirate hands. They include 26 sailors on the now wrecked fishing boat Naham 3, who have been held since March 2012.

Two Iranian fishing boats were seized in March near Ceel Hur in central Somalia, but one boat escaped in August.

The other, the Siraj, is still being held, with 15 remaining crew held onshore, after four were freed by local authorities earlier this month.

Stay up to date on all the latest World news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp