Somalia Pirates Seize cargo ship, Holding Crew Hostage

Wed Mar 13 2024

In a distressing turn of events, the MV Abdullah, a Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship on its voyage from Maputo, Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates, has fallen victim to Somali pirates off the coast of Somalia, with all 23 crew members now held hostage.

The MV Abdullah was en route to the United Arab Emirates, laden with a cargo of 55,000 metric tonnes of coal when the harrowing incident occurred around midday on Tuesday, March 12.

According to Meherul Karim, the CEO of Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills, the company owning the vessel, a group of 15-20 armed Somali pirates hijacked the ship. "We are awaiting further communication," Karim stated, assuring that the crew members remain unharmed amidst the ordeal.

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An audio recording, made public by the company and purportedly from one of the hostages, recounted how the vessel came under attack by gunmen in two speedboats, who opened fire during the assault.

The attack unfolded in the vast expanse of the Indian Ocean, approximately 600 nautical miles (1,111km) east of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, as confirmed by Mizanul Islam, a spokesperson for the company.

Since December, a spate of hijackings in the waters off Somalia has raised concerns about a potential resurgence of piracy in the Indian Ocean. This resurgence may be attributed to the repositioning of international naval forces, redirecting their focus from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea. Such a shift has created apprehensions that pirates could exploit the resultant security gap for their nefarious activities on international waters.

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