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Somali pirates issue ultimatum for mariners

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Chittagong, Oct 07 (bdnews24.com)—Somali pirates have issued a two-week deadline to buy release of the seven Bangladeshi mariners kidnapped about two years back.

They asked families of the mariners to give their final words on the $ 0.7 million ransom or else, they will begin killing them once the deadline ends.

The mariners have been held hostage since they were kidnapped from a Malaysian ship, where they were on duty, in 2010.

One of the kidnapped mariners, Aminul Islam's father Nurul Islam disclosed the information at a press conference at Chittagong Press Club in the afternoon of Sunday.

According to him, the pirates called him up early Thursday morning to tell him about their decision.

Islam said the pirates already killed a hostage of Indian nationality for failing to pay the ransom.

Relatives of the kidnapped organised the press conference to request the government for taking measures to get back their loved ones.
They appealed to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for raising the ransom money. The Ministry of Shipping and its Secretary were informed about the situation.

The kidnapped are given only two pieces of bread and a litre of unpurified drinking water as they are kept hostage, hands and legs tied, at gunpoint in forests, the relatives said.

The kidnappers have chosen Aminul for making deals with the families of the kidnapped, said his mother Surma Islam.

Abul Kalam and Mazeda Begum, parents of another kidnapped Zakir Hossain, also attended the press briefing.

Aminul and Zakir are from Chittagong; Golam Mostafa, Habibur Rahman, Abul Kashem and Nurul Hoque are from Satkhira; while Limon Sarker is from Chandpur.

Negotiated by Manning Agent Overshare Marine Services Company, the seven joined work at the ship called MV Albedo on July 31 in 2010.

The ship with 26 mariners from Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Iran and Bangladesh onboard was hijacked from Indian Ocean on Nov 26, 2010 and taken to a Somalis coastal area.

Pakistan bought release of its seven mariners on Aug 1.

The 26 mariners also include six from Sri Lanka, one each from India and Iran.


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