Indian officials stated on Tuesday that they are investigating the reports about the capture of eight boats with nearly 120 Indian sailors on board. Pirates are said to have hijacked the boats on Sunday as they were on their way from Somalia to Dubai.
According to officials, the vessels, with a crew originating from the Saurashtra andKutch regions of Gujarat, had anchored in the rebel-held Somali port of Kismayowhere they loaded cargo into their boats. Soon after leaving the port, pirates attacked them.
The Indian Navy confirmed the news of the hijackings and said efforts are on the way to contact the pirates and get the Indians back safely. “The shipping authorities have been asked to probe whether any Indian boats have gone missing and taken over by Somali pirates”, Commander P.V.S. Satish, an Indian Navy official, said.
Meanwhile, sources said that the hijacked Indian vessels have been traced near Seychelles. No ransom demand has been made so far.
This report comes after the European Union Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) said pirates had hijacked the Panama-flagged MV Iceberg 1, a cargo vessel with 24 crew members off the port of Aden on Monday.