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Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011
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AHMEDABAD: The foreign fishing boat captured by the Gujarat police at Nandel, a small port near Una in Junagadh district on the Saurashtra coast on Sunday turned out to be carrying 14 Somali pirates along with three Yemeni fishermen.
The boat with 17 persons on board was seized and all the seamen were arrested after local villagers alerted the police about the presence of some “foreign faces” aboard. The arrested seamen were in a precarious condition, not having eaten anything for several days. They were first admitted to the Una hospital prior to questioning them. The police believed the boat had exhausted fuel and drifted towards the Saurashtra coast in high tide.
After their condition improved they were put under joint interrogation which revealed that while the Yemenis were genuine fishermen, the Somalis on board were all pirates who had seized the Yemeni fishing boat “144 Al Badr-2” and set sail before the engine broke down.
According to Indian Coast Guard sources participating in the joint interrogation, six Yemeni fishermen had started out for fishing early this month when they were attacked by six Somali pirates on June 9 off the Somalia Coast.
The Coast Guard sources said so far nothing incriminating had been found in their possession but it was believed that the pirates had disposed of the objectionable materials before being caught.
The police sources said when the security agencies approached the boat, the sailors on board had dumped a few boxes in the sea which is believed to contain weapons.
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