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LTTE terrorists maraud a Jordon ship in distress - Mulaithiuvu

A maritime distress message released by a Jordon merchant vessel "Faraha III" this morning indicated that the ship is under an armed pirate attack in Mulaithiuvu Sea, the naval sources said.

The message originally received by the Maritime Rescuing Coordinating Centre, Falmouth in UK , said that a group of armed pirates had got onboard the ship around 3.30a.m (Saturday the 23rd of December) and began marauding the ship's cargo.

The Naval sources added that these "armed pirates" mentioned by the ship's crew must be none other than the LTTE terrorists since the ship had drifted towards the LTTE dominated coast in North- Eastern Sri Lanka. The present location of the ship is 3 Nautical miles east of Mulaithivu.

According to the information received by the SL Navy authorities the ship had met with a technical failure two days ago and has been drifting towards the coast. It was also learnt that the 150 meters long merchant ship was carrying 14,000 tons of rice from Kakinada, India to Durban in South Africa when it was disabled and attacked by the pirates.

When contacted the local agent of the ship- Malship Ceylon Limited, said that the ship had a crew of 25 sailors from Jordan and Egypt. The company further added that a "tug' has already been sent from Colombo to avoid the ship being grounded.

However, the naval sources said that no "tug" had reached the location so far. All attempts made by the navy to establish radio communication with the ship have also been unsuccessful.

"The ship is surrounded by LTTE boats, we cannot use fire power against them since such action may endanger the safety of the ship's crew", the sources further added.

Both the SLMM and the Jordanian Embassy in India are informed about the situation. The situation is being closely monitored by SL Navy and Air Force units.

Meanwhile, pro LTTE websites announced that the LTTE had captured the 25 sailors along with the ship's cargo as it drifted in to its area.

The distress message of Faraha III relayed to SL Navy from Maritime Rescuing Coordinating Centre and the a video footage of the ship obtained by SL Air Force are shown below

View Video

 

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