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Somali Pirates Strike Close To India

PTI 07 Dec 2010, 11:07:51 IST
In a first strike close to India, Somali pirates captured a Bangaldeshi merchant ship on Sunday afternoon barely 70 nautical miles off the Lakshadweep Islands, reports Indian Express.
The attack came even as a multi-ship task force of the Indian Navy was carrying out search operations in the Arabian Sea for pirate mother vessels.
The MV Jahan Moni, a Bangladeshi-flagged ship, was on its way to Europe with 25 crew members and 41,000 tonnes of nickel ore on board. The pirates are believed to be now steering the ship towards Somalia.
The pirates struck less than 70 nautical miles west of Minicoy Island, within India's extended Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), taking authorities by surprise. Reports indicated that the ship was chased by pirates for more than an hour near the Indian islands before it was captured.
The International Maritime Bureau's (IMB) piracy centre has reported that six armed pirates captured the ship.
“A merchant vessel was reported hijacked by six armed pirates and 26 crew members were taken hostage. Further report awaited,” the IMB report reads.
The location of the attack is listed as “around 67 nautical miles west of Minicoy Island”.