15 December 2012
Puntland Government’s anti-piracy force the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) is attempting to free a hijacked vessel and rescue the crewpersons on board, who have been held hostage by pirates since March 2010.
The hijacked vessel MV Iceberg 1 has been held for ransom near the coast of Gara’ad town, in Puntland’s Mudug region. For a long time, the pirates kept the hostages apart at different locations, but information received by Puntland security agencies indicated that the crewpersons have been returned to the MV Iceberg 1. PMPF forces went into action on Dec. 10, 2012, when there was an exchange of gunfire between PMPF forces and the pirates.
Puntland government forces have prevented supplies from getting in or out of the hijacked vessel. On the morning of Dec. 11, 2012, a group of pirates bringing weapons and ammunition supplies attacked Puntland government forces manning the coast and 3 pirates were killed and 3 others captured in the subsequent clash between PMPF and the pirates. Weapons and ammunition seized include: 5 AK-47 rifles, 1 PKM machine-gun, and thousands of rounds.
Since the operation began, four soldiers have been wounded and Puntland Government sends its praises and appreciations to government forces committed to the defense of Puntland.
Pirates have held hostage for ransom the vessel MV Iceberg 1 for over 2 years and 9 months, and some of the crewpersons have been killed and others have been mutilated and tortured.
Puntland government forces will continue this operation until the suffering hostages are safely rescued from pirate criminals.
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