Somali forces rescue sailors from pirates


Eight sailors captured by pirates have been rescued by Somali security forces, BBC reports. 

The sailors, who were on board an Indian cargo ship the Al Kausar, were captured by pirates in March. The pirates seized the 10-man crew and held them for ransom. 

The vessel and two of the crew were rescued on Monday, but the pirates managed to escape with the other eight. They were subsequently found and the sailors were freed. 

"The security forces overwhelmingly besieged them and the pirates tried to flee, but three of them were captured," deputy commander of the maritime force in Somalia's Galmudug state, Abdirashid Mohamed Ahmed, confirmed to AFP News

He also confirmed that all the sailors were "safe and healthy", but would not reveal their nationalities.  

This is the third pirate attack in the space of a month. Prior to this, the last attack occurred five years ago. 

On Sunday, members of the Indian, Pakistani and Chinese navies rescued the crew of a ship registered in Tuvalu which had been boarded by pirates. 

The area around Yemen and Somalia became rampant with piracy, peaking in 2011 with more than 200 attacks. Extensive international military patrols and support from local fishing communities has played a role in the significant drop in attacks in subsequent years. 

But the BBC's security correspondent, Frank Gardner, says the factors that pushed many fishermen to turn to piracy in the first place are still there. 

The country is currently in the grip of a severe drought with thousands facing starvation. In addition, poverty is widespread with few employment opportunities open to young people, not to mention the lingering local resentment at illegal fishing by Asian trawlers off the country's coast.