On Thursday, the Indian Navy took custody of the Indian dhow Al Kausar, which was hijacked by Somali pirates off Socotra Island on April 1. Somali security forces recaptured the dhow and freed the hostages in a series of operations and arrested as many as a dozen pirates who were involved in the kidnapping. Two of the crew were found aboard the dhow on Tuesday, and the remaining eight (or nine) were freed the following day. The Al Kausar has reportedly headed for her next destination, escorted by a vessel of the Indian Navy.
Hirsi Yusuf Barre, the mayor of Galkayo, Galmudug, told Reuters that troops surrounded 13 pirates holding nine crewmembers. He reported that 10 of the kidnappers surrendered immediately, and the final three gave up after their parents arrived and asked them to come out. In an interview with VOA Somalia, the mayor of the city of Hobyo, Abdullahi Ahmed Ali, confirmed the rescue but gave a much smaller number for the count of pirates captured.
Somali piracy is on a rebound after a five-year hiatus, with five boardings over the course of the past month. International naval patrols and shoreside security forces have enjoyed a relatively high degree of success in thwarting the recent attacks and recovering hostages quickly. No hostage fatalities have been reported.
Netherlands releases convicted pirates
According to the Repatriation and Departure Service of the Dutch Ministry of Security and Justice, the Netherlands has recently deported 23 convicted Somali pirates who have completed their sentences. The men were arrested at sea by the Dutch Navy in 2012; they were taken to the Netherlands, tried and sentenced to prison time.
"Once the pirates were taken aboard the naval vessels, they were [on] Dutch 'territory'. They were then brought here, tried and have served their sentences," said Jannita Robberse, the service's director, speaking to AD. "In the entire return process, much effort has been made with [our] partners."