Source: Daily News
By ROSE ATHUMANI, 4th October 2011 @ 12:24
SEVEN pirates were captured on Wednesday night after attacking an Oil prospecting ship, Sam-S-All Good, 40 kilometres Northeast of Mafia Island, the Tanzania People's Defence Forces (TPDF) spokesman, said.
Col. Kapambala Mgawe said the seven suspects attacked the ship at around 9:00 with the intention of hijacking it. Two ships near the area; Monck and Froshiber which had TPDF forces responded to a distress call from the ship under attack.
"The two patrol ships that were in the area with TPDF troops, responded to the distress call from the oil prospecting ship and went to provide assistance and protection," he said.
On arrival at the scene, TPDF forces using search light noticed suspicious people walking up and down the ship brandishing guns.
"The TPDF opened fire in the air as a warning but the pirates did not surrender and instead fired directly at the soldiers. There was exchange of fire, the pirates were overpowered and decided to surrender by throwing their weapons in the sea and raised up their arms," Col. Mgawe explained.
He said the TPDF soldiers arrested the pirates by tying them up with a rope. "One of the pirates was injured in his right thigh, during the exchange of fire," he added.
The pirates were found in possession of 16 rounds of sub machine gun (SMG) ammunition and some pain killers. A TPDF ship has already left to pick up the pirates who are believed to be Somalis and they will be handed over to the police.
"One of our ships has already left Kigamboni today (yesterday) to pick up the pirates, we believed they are Somalis, but we cannot confirm that for sure yet, until they are brought in and handed to the police tomorrow morning," Col Mgawe explained.
The boat that the suspected pirates were using is believed to have drifted off, after they climbed onboard the oil prospecting ship, Sam-S-All Good.
Meanwhile, a five-day sea operation training comprising Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states and Kenya has been completed successfully.
Addressing journalists yesterday aboard SAS Drakensberg of South Africa, Real Admiral and Director of Marine Warfare Karl Wieswer, said the SADC summit agreed to have joint training that will make Indian Ocean safe.
"The purpose of the training is to make the waters of the EAC and SADC safe for trade," he added. Countries that participated in this initial training include Kenya, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, South Africa and host country Tanzania.
Real Admiral Wieswer said smilar training sessions will take place and will involve more countries including those landlocked and depend on the Indian Ocean for their trade.