The attack is believe to have occurred 20 miles from the Kutubdia Channel, Bangladesh, marked here.

The attack is believed to have occurred 20 miles from the Kutubdia Channel in Bangladesh, marked here.

Pirates in the Bay of Bengal are believed to have killed as many as 31 fishermen in a brazen attack on three trawlers on March 25.

According to reports, the Bangladesh Navy and Coast Guard launched a joint operation on Tuesday to recover the bodies of the deceased fishermen after three bodies turned up Monday night. Reports indicate that Tuesday’s operation resulted in the recovery of 18 bodies, bringing the total death toll to 21. As many as 10 are believed to be still missing.

The attack occurred on March 25 approximately 20 miles off the coast of Cox’s Bazar, a district in the Chittagong Division of Bangladesh.

“Today our boats have found 17 bodies floating about 12 kilometres west of the lighthouse of Kutubdia Island,” Navy commander Mustafizur Rahman told AFP on Tuesday.

“All the bodies were in decomposed state. They had their hands tied up and were thrown in deep sea,” Rahman added.

Media reports indicate that 34 people were on board the three trawlers at the time of the attack.  There are three known survivors.

In a separate incident, robbers boarded a product tanker at Chittagong Anchorage ‘A’ on March 22 and made off with ship stores and property. That incident was the fourth reported off the coast of Chittagong in 2013, according to IMB Piracy Reporting Centre data.

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