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3 Indians taken hostage by pirates off Kenyan coast

Press Trust Of India
Jan 16, 2009 at 08:38pm IST

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New Delhi: With the Stolt Valor hostage drama involving Indians still fresh, another ship with three Indians on board has been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Kenya and the Navy said it will take "all action" to secure

their release.

The Kenyan fishing vessel M V Alpha Manyara has an Indian captain and an engineer besides another Indian crew on board and was hijacked on January 9, according to relatives of the sailors taken hostage.

SEA TRAP: Three Indians on board has been hijacked by pirates off the coast of Kenya

Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sureesh Mehta said, "The operation has been on from kenya for many months now. I am not aware if there were any Kenayans on board but the report I have seen is there was an Indian captain, an Indian engineer and one more person. Maybe there were some other fishermen on board. There is no patrolling that goes on this part now. India as you know is well beyond the Arabian area, but we will take whatever action is required to see that they get released at the earliest.

Giving details, he said the incident took place "well outside the Gulf... it is fishing boat, which has been operating as a Kenyan fishing boat for many months."

He said Indian ships deployed in the Gulf of Aden did not go for patrolling near the Kenyan coast.

"There is no patrolling that goes so far south and Kenya has always been well out of the Arabian gulf region," Mehta said during his visit to the annual NCC Republic Day Camp.

George, brother of one of the hostage Palaswamy Sarvanan, who hails from Tamil Nadu, said the pirates were holding three Indians hostage after setting free eight Kenyan sailors.

"We were informed about the incident a day after the vessel was hijacked. After that, we have not heard from the company or the government. The company has declined to pay any ransom," he claimed.

Stolt Valor, owned by a Japanese company and carrying 18 Indian sailors, was released on November 16 by the Somalian pirates after a huge ransom was paid by the owners.

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