Friday, October 23, 2009

Somali pirates hijack carrier with 24 Indian crew

Pirates on Thursday hijacked a Panamanian-flagged carrier in waters off Somalia, taking 26 crew hostage, 24 of them Indian, a NATO spokeswoman said.

"The MV Al Khaliq, a Panamanian-flagged bulk carrier, has been hijacked early this morning off Somalia," said a spokeswoman for NATO's anti-piracy mission in London.

"There were 26 crew on board, 24 of whom are Indian and two Burmese."

A second carrier, the Italian-flagged Jolly Rosso, also came under fire from pirates north of the Seychelles, she said.

The ship was travelling from Novorossiysk port, Russia to Mombasa, Kenya and was loaded with 35,000 tons of wheat.

Three pirates ships launched attack between Seychelles and Mombasa.

First a Italian ship was attacked with rocket launchers and grenades, but they managed to escape then MV Al Khaliq was attacked and hijacked.

Last contact with crew was made at 11 IST this morning.

There are reports that the hijacked ship is headed to an unknown Somali Port.

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