Pirates attack ship with Indian crew in Gulf

The Bahraini dhow was intercepted on Friday night by another ship with an armed crew, security sources said. The four pirates threatened the six-man Indian crew with guns and assaulted them before taking their cargo of fish and mobile phones. The crew members said they believed the pirates were Iranian, but their nationality could not be confirmed. The Indian sailors were released and arrived at a Bahraini port on Sunday.

For the first time, an act of piracy has been reported inside the Gulf since the issue of piracy again came to the forefront of international attention off the Somali coast in recent years.
In recent months Somali pirates had expanded their operations beyond the Somali coast line and the Gulf of Aden reaching areas as far as the east coast of Oman and the Arabian Sea.

According to figures from the London-based International Maritime Bureau, 240 cases of piracy attacks have been reported in the first six months of 2009. It attributed the rise in piracy mainly to attacks off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden, southern Red Sea, east coast of Oman and Arabian Sea, where 148 out the 240 piracy attacks took place.

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