Iranian ship and crew escape after 5 months in captivity off Somali coast

BY DRAZEN JORGIC

An Iranian fishing vessel and its crew have escaped after being held captive for five months by Somali fishermen, maritime piracy experts said on Friday, but it was not clear how many crew members had escaped.

Jaber, an Iranian fishing vessel believed to have up to 19 crew, was captured on March 26, along with another Iranian fishing vessel, Siraj. Local officials accused them of illegal fishing in Somali waters.

Although there are still rare cases of sea attacks, piracy in the Indian Ocean has largely subsided in the past three years, mainly due to shipping firms hiring private security details and the presence of international warships.

John Steed, a regional manager for Oceans Beyond Piracy, said Jaber and its crew escaped in early hours of Thursday morning and were pursued by pirates who had been holding the ship close to the shore in Ceel Hur, in central Somalia.

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Source: http://www.reuters.com/

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