The Somalia military forces on Wednesday rescued nine of the 11 Indian crew members of a cargo ship that was hijacked by pirates, reported Reuters. Galmudug’s Minister for Ports and Sea Transport Burhan Warsame told the news agency that the troops fought briefly with the gang before they could rescue the seamen. However, other reports claimed that eight, and not nine, of 10 crew members were freed.
Hobyo Mayor Abdullahi Ahmed Ali told AP that four pirates were arrested during the encounter that took place in a small village outside the town. However, Deputy Commander of the maritime force Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed told AFP that three pirates have been arrested. He also countered encounter claims and said that they “overwhelmingly besieged them and the pirates tried to flee”.
With this, all the Indian sailors have been released. Two were freed on Monday when the Somali security forces liberated the vessel. “They are healthy and safe,” Warsame told Reuters. Mayor Ali, on the other hand, said that the men were “exhausted and hungry” as the pirate made them walk long distances.
Somalian pirates had hijacked the Indian ship on April 3. The pirates had said that they were trying to negotiate with the authorities to free some of their members who are imprisoned in India. In March, Somalian pirates had hijacked an oil tanker, the first such attempt since 2012, but were forced to back off after being challenged by security personnel guarding the coast.