Thu, October 22, 2009
China > China & World > Chinese ship hijacked in Indian Ocean

EU naval force says Chinese hostages taken by Somali pirates seem to be fine

2009-10-19 22:38:13 GMT2009-10-20 06:38:13 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

LONDON, Oct. 19 (Xinhua) -- Spokesman of the European Union (EU)naval force John Harbour confirmed on Monday that 25 Chinese people were taken hostages by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean and they seem to be fine.

Harbour said "the total number held hostages along Somali coastis 146. I can confirm on board the carrier, there are 25 Chinese personnel."

He said: "I know that the UK Maritime Trade Office has spoken to the owner of the ship, to confirm the figure and they are trying to get in touch with the pirates, at the moment to see what their next intentions are. As far as I am aware the ship is heading to the northwest, which would be towards the Somali coast."

Harbour said they send a helicopter to investigate the event. It has detected the bulk carrier and has taken photographs that "there were a number of other people seeing on the dock, and these were clearly crew and they seem to be fine."

A bulk carrier "De Xin Hai" from China was hijacked in the Indian Ocean around noon local time, the EU anti-piracy military organization EU NAVFOR said in a statement on Monday.

EU NAVFOE said in a statement that the ship was hijacked 550 nautical miles North East of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the East coast of Somalia.

"On indication of an attack an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operating from the Seychelles was launched to investigate the incident," the statement said.

The aircraft located the ship and has reported that there are four pirates visible and 2 small pirate craft being towed by the ship.

The statement also said that the bulk carrier was not registered with the Maritime Security Center Horn of Africa.

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