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Warships rescue Indian crew from pirates

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Ten suspected pirates on board surrender
  • The Indian ship's crew jumps overboard; 8 rescued, one drowns
  • Meanwhile, other pirates grab a Turkish cargo ship

(CNN) -- U.S. and Omani warships have rescued most of the crew of a hijacked Indian ship in the northern Indian Ocean and captured 10 suspected pirates, but other marauders successfully seized a Turkish cargo ship, allied navies reported Wednesday.

The latest ship to be taken by pirates was the Yasin C, a bulk carrier bound for the Kenyan port of Mombasa. The 178-meter (580-foot) ship was about 460 kilometers (290 miles) off Mombasa when it reported being boarded by pirates, according to the European Union naval force patrolling the region, a key international waterway.

The Yasin C has a crew of 25, all believed to be Turkish. No further details were immediately announced.

Its hijacking came a day after the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul and the Omani warship al-Sharquiya retook an Indian dhow that had been converted into a pirate ship, the U.S. Fifth Fleet reported.

The warships were responding to a distress call from a vessel that had fended off a pirate attack launched from the Faize Osamani, which had been reported captured in January.

Nine members of the Indian ship's crew jumped overboard as the U.S. and Omani ships approached, according to the U.S. command in Bahrain. The Omanis rescued eight of them, while a ninth drowned.

The 10 suspected pirates on board surrendered to a boarding party from the McFaul and will be transferred to a country willing to prosecute them, the Americans said.

An international naval coalition has been patrolling the waters off the Horn of Africa for several years in an effort to crack down on attacks by Somalia-based pirates. Piracy has flourished in the east African country, which has lacked an effective central government since 1991.