Fourteen Indian sailors, taken hostage and beaten by heavily-armed Somali pirates for 10 days, have been rescued by a NATO warship off the coast of Somalia after their dhow was released.
Captain of 'Vishvakalyan' Ismail Abdurehman said the pirates attacked the dhow which carried a shipment of charcoal from Brava, south of Mogadishu, to Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates on June 3.
Firing in the air, six pirates armed with AK-47s and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher approached the dhow in a high-speed skiff and forced the vessel to stop.
Two more skiffs with a dozen more pirates joined the attack. On board, the pirates beat the sailors from Gujarat.
The crew were kept prisoners for 10 days somewhere near Hobyo, north of Mogadishu on the Somali coast.
The pirates stripped the crew of their clothes, took away their mobile phones, radios and presents they were taking back to India for their families.
“They stole our shampoo, trousers and shirts,” Jusab said.
Captain Abdurehman said the pirates stole all the dhow’s food. Only three chickens and a cat were left on board.
“They hit the crew all over, on the head, everywhere,” Alison Bevege, an Australian journalist on board a Portuguese warship patrolling for pirates in the waters off Somalia, quoted Abdurehman as saying.