China thanks Indian Navy`s for help in rescuing sailors
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Last Updated: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 21:21
Beijing: China on Wednesday expressed its "heartfelt gratitude" to the navies of India, US and Turkey for their efforts in saving 24 Chinese sailors from falling into the hands of Somali pirates and said international community should work more closely in fighting sea menace.

With the joint efforts of all the sides, 24 Chinese sailors of Panama-registered vessel 'Fu Cheng', which was hijacked by Somalian pirates have already been safely rescued, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said in a statement here today.

"We sincerely appreciate this and express our heartfelt gratitude to Turkey, US & India. The international community must continue to strengthen international cooperation in fighting against sea piracy and jointly safeguard maritime security in the concerned region," she said.

Jiang's comments came after 24 Chinese sailors on a hijacked Panama-registered bulk cargo ship were rescued last week. Pirates attacked the vessel, Full City, last Thursday some 450 nautical miles off the coast of Mumbai.

The Chinese sailors managed to escape as they locked themselves in a safe room after pirates took over the ship.

The pirates, however, fled after an Indian maritime reconnaissance plane which flew over the ship warned them that naval ships were on their way to rescue the vessel.

According to Chinese officials 51 sailors from the Chinese mainland are now in the custody of pirates. In all, Somalian pirates are holding 338 sailors in custody from various countries besides 26 vessels in captivity.

So far this year, pirates have attacked 118 vessels and hijacked 20 ships.

In the past week, they assaulted two ships with Chinese sailors on board, Xu Zuyuan, Chinese Vice-Minister of Transport said few days ago.


First Published: Wednesday, May 11, 2011, 21:21

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