EU maritime force deploys warship near hijacked Bangladeshi vessel

A helicopter was also seen hovering near the hijacked cargo ship in a photo shared by EUNAVFOR on X

Published : 22 March 2024, 05:59 AM
Updated : 22 March 2024, 05:59 AM

The European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR) has deployed a warship under its anti-piracy mission Operation Atalanta near the hijacked Bangladeshi-flagged vessel MV Abdullah.

The maritime security force announced that the vessel's deployment in a post on X around 12:30am on Friday.

According to a previous post by EUNAVFOR, multiple incidents of piracy on cargo ships have been reported since November 2023. Of the three hijacked commercial vessels, MV Abdullah is still under the occupation of Somali pirates.

On Friday, a video was also posted on EUNAVFOR's official X handle, which showed that its warship was positioned close to MV Abdullah. A helicopter was also seen hovering around the hijacked cargo ship.

The EUNAVFOR, which plays a crucial role in protecting vulnerable vessels off the coast of East Africa, said that it has been monitoring the Bangladeshi-flagged ship since it was hijacked on Mar 12.

According to a report attached to the post, as many as 24 vessels have been hijacked in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters since Nov 24, 2023.

MV Abdullah, owned by Kabir Group's unit SR Shipping, was hijacked with 23 crew members en route to the UAE from Mozambique along the Indian Ocean. The crew members were subsequently held hostage by the Somali pirates.

After days of unsuccessful efforts to communicate with the pirates, the hijackers eventually made contact with the vessel's owners for the first time on Mar 20.

On Mar 18, Reuters reported that the Puntland Police of Somalia and the International Navy were preparing to conduct an operation to free the Bangladeshi-flagged ship and its hostages.

However, Kabir Group spokesman Mizanul Islam said that the owners of the ship do not want any military intervention, fearing that it could jeopardise the 'safety' of the sailors.