By Aweys Cadde, Somalia Report
Police from Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland have arrested 15 suspected Somali pirates as they planned to hijack foreign ships operating along the coastline of Jariban District of Mudug region, senior officials said on Saturday.
The chairman of Jariban District, Abdikarin Mohamud Keytoon, told Somalia Report that his forces captured the pirate suspects on Friday following a swoop in the coastal village of Gar’ad in the same district. “We captured 15 pirates who wanted to hijack the ships and they are now in custody,” he said adding that they would hand them over to the authorities in Galkayo, the region’s capital to face trial.
According to the local authorities, the police in the region have declared war against pirates and other criminal groups known for causing fear and despondency among the people in the region.
Noting that desperate times require desperate measures, Puntland authorities have heightened security operations around the breakaway region. Keytoon claimed that his authorities had rescued an Iranian crew aboard a boat that had been taken hostage by a pirate group on Wednesday. During the incident, he alleged, the pirates were overpowered and disarmed by the Puntland security forces.
The piracy menace is increasingly becoming rampant in the waters off the Somali coast posing a major threat to maritime safety and international shipping.
Reprinted with permission. (c) 2011 SomaliaReport.com
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