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Algerian sailors kidnapped by Somali pirates appeal for release: paper

Friday, June 24, 2011

Laaska News  June 24,2011
ALGIERS, June 24 (Xinhua) — One of the 17 Algerian sailors held captive by Somali pirates six months ago called on Algerian authorities to do more to pave the way for the seamen’s release, saying the 17 have been facing heavy-handed and unyielding practices from Somali pirates.

Echorouk daily identified the sailor as Moundeer Abdul-Rahman, who made his appeal during a phone call with his family back home.

The seafaring man said he and others hope they will be rescued before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, expected to start in August.

The MV Blida with 27 crew members on board was seized about 150 nautical miles southeast of the Omani port of Salalah in January.

The vessel was en route to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania shortly after leaving Salalah when it was hijacked.

Days into the seizure, Algeria set up a crisis cell for gathering information and holding contacts that could help release of the cargo ship.

But there were no reports about any outcome the cell, which grouped officials from the foreign and transportation ministries and the Algerian National Company of Maritime Navigation (CNAN), has reached. The vessel was also carrying sailors from Ukraine and the Philippines. Using high-powered speedboats, pirates are reportedly holding at least 28 ships and more than 650 hostages. The dearth of functioning government in Somalia for decades boosts the pirates’ control off Somalia.

Xinhua.

Laaska News.
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