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Krishna seeks UAE’s help to free Indian sailors

Friday, July 06, 2012


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NEW DELHI: Foreign minister S M Krishna on Thursday wrote to his UAE counterpart Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan requesting him to secure the release of six Indians on MV Iceberg which has been held in captivity by Somali pirates for over two years. Iceberg, which has now become the longest-held ship by Somali pirates, is owned by UAE nationals.

Disheartened family members had earlier appealed to Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney to help them out. The six Indian sailors have spent over two years in captivity since March 2010. One of the 24 crew members died on board last year. The crew includes sailors from Yemen, India, Ghana, Pakistan, Sudan and the Philippines.

Media reports in Dubai said a breakthrough in negotiations with the Somali pirates was near.

There are more than 200 sailors being held captive by Somali pirates, and 62 have lost their lives since 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau. The bureau said 43 attacks were carried out by Somali pirates in the first quarter of this year.


 





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