Indonesia's Anti-Piracy Force in Africa

BATAK CENTER FOR AFRICAN STUDIES -- Indonesian naval forces killed four pirates who were vacating bulk carrier MV Sinar Kudus after a ransom was dropped on board on Saturday, a military spokesman said.

Rear Admiral Iskandar Sitompul said that the pirates had left the vessel in small groups, and that the military went after the last batch of four to leave the vessel.

"By that time all the hostages had been secured, so one of our units, consisting of 12 personnel and a helicopter, chased the last pirate group," he said.

Gunfire broke out and our personnel killed all the pirates in the boat.

The ship and sailors were being protected by Indonesian warships until the crew could be flown home, he added.

The Indonesian-owned vessel, and its crew of 20 Indonesian sailors, was taken around 320 nautical miles northeast of the island of Socotra in the Somali Basin on March 16, according to the European Union's anti-piracy force EU NAVFOR.

The MV Sinar Kudus, which was on its way to Egypt from Singapore at the time of its pirating, was then used as a mothership to launch a failed attack on another merchant vessel.

A pirate told Reuters news agency $4.5 million was paid in ransom for the vessel, but the  owner said this figure was inaccurate.


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