US Navy may intervene to free hijacked Jordanian vessel

May 20th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by admin  

Mumbai, May 20 (IANS) The United States Navy is likely to intervene to free the hostages, including 10 Indians, on board a Jordanian vessel that was hijacked off the Somalian capital Mogadishu on Saturday. According to a statement by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS), the assurance has come from the Maritime Liaison Office Commander, US Naval Forces-Central Command, Bahrain, which has offered all possible help to free the vessel, “M.V. Victoria”, and the crew members held hostage.

The ship has been traced to a place called Hobiyo port, near Elmaan, more than 500 km off Mogadishu.

The Indian Coast Guard’s Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, Mumbai, is also coordinating with the search and rescue agencies in Yemen, Seychelles and Norway to alert their counterparts to initiate necessary action against the piracy and furnish relevant information here, the DGS said.

The vessel was carrying 4,200 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.

The ship’s managers denied that they have got any demands from the hijackers.

They are attempting to establish contact with the hijackers through the cargo consignees in Mogadishu.

The DGS has approached the ministry of transport in Jordan requesting their cooperation to resolve the issue.

The ship’s managers have assured that they will pass on the details of all the Indian crew members on board the hijacked vessel as soon as possible.

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