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Indonesia kills four Somali pirates during rescue operation JAKARTA - Indonesia on Monday announced that four Somali pirates were killed during an operation that freed 20 sailors, the Jakarta Globe reported.

The operation was conducted on Sunday in order to free the 20 crew members of the bulk cargo carrier Sinar Kudus which was pirated about 46 days ago. The Indonesian-flagged merchant vessel was on its way to Suez, Egypt from Singapore when attacked.

According to Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul, a military spokesman, after the Indonesian soldiers secured all hostages, they chased the pirates and engaged in a gunfight. As a result, four suspected pirates were killed.

Sitompul added that ransom was paid to the pirates as part of the operation. After receiving the money, the Somali nationals left the MV Sinar Kudus in small skiffs but 12 soldiers and a helicopter followed them.

All hostages were freed and the Indonesian bulk carrier was secured at a nearby port. Three Indonesian warships are guarding the hostages until they are transported by plane back to Jakarta.

Some reports indicated on Sunday that the pirates received a $4.5 million ransom but the Indonesian government rejected paying such sum to the pirates. In the past, Indonesia claimed that it had never negotiated with Somali pirates.

On March 16, Somali pirates hijacked the MV Sinar Kudus vessel, belonging to PT Samudra Indonesia and took 22 Indonesian crew members hostage. Initially, the pirates declined an offer of $2.5 million and demanded in return a ransom demand worth about $9 million.

In recent years, Somali pirates have hijacked hundreds of ships, taking in hundreds of millions of dollars in ransom, but hostages are usually treated well and released in healthy conditions after a ransom is paid. Ships are patrolling the shipping lanes near Somalia in an effort to reduce hijackings, but the anti-piracy force has warned that attacks are likely to continue.

According to a recent study, maritime piracy cost the global economy up to $12 billion last year, with Somalia-based pirates responsible for 95 percent of the costs.



Posted in General @ 02 May 2011 16:20 CET by Blog Bot · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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