Ship with 10 Indians missing off Somalia (Lead)

May 20th, 2008 - 12:25 am ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 19 (IANS) A Jordanian cargo ship with 10 Indians on board was seized by pirates near the Somalian capital Mogadishu Saturday morning, days after it left Mumbai, the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) informed. The DGS has advised the Indian Coast Guard to alert their counterparts in the East African countries, including Somalia, to trace the hijacked ship.

“Pirates on three small boats boarded the M.V. Victoria off the Somalian coast while it was heading towards Hobiyo (500 km North of Mogadishu),” a statement issued by DGS said.

The vessel was carrying 4,200 metric tonnes of bagged sugar under the world food programme (WFP) from Mumbai port for distribution in war-torn Somalia. The ship had a crew of 21, of whom 10 were Indians while the rest were from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Kenya.

In February 2008, the International Maritime Organisation along with the UN had drafted a resolution that it would allow countries to chase and arrest pirates off Somalia’s coast.

This is the 10th ship hijack this year off the 3,500-km, mostly unsecured, Somalian coastline, in which at least 25 Indians had been held hostage.Last year, M.V. Reef Azania went missing with two Indians among 14 crewmembers, followed by M.V. Infinitymarine with 16 Indians on board.

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