Bangladesh Coast Guard, Navy Launch Anti-Piracy Operations

Tuesday, July 18, 2006
According to reports, Bangladesh has launched joint operations of the Coast Guard and Navy to capture pirates in the Bay of Bengal in the wake of increasing criminal activity by sea robbers. More than 3,000 members of the Coast Guard and the Navy, along with some 17 naval vessels, will be participating in the joint operations. According to an official source, the offshore police stations and outposts have been kept on high alert to ensure that the pirates will be unable to take shelter in offshore areas during the operation. The combined operations are being carried out after identifying strategic points within the Bay of Bengal; however, as of Sunday, no reports of arrests had been received. During the last month, pirates have launched attacks on over 500 fishing trawlers and looted fishing nets, fish, and other goods worth about USD 1.43 million. Two fishermen have been killed and over 300 others have been injured in this recent rash of pirate attacks. The pirates have also kidnapped nearly 300 fishermen and have seized several trawlers in order to push for the release of their cohorts from custody. The Bangladesh Coast Guard and the sea robbers had exchanges of fire on July 5 and 11 that resulted in the deaths of two pirates. The Burmese junta has yet to take any initiative to catch or combat piracy, nor have they extended cooperation to their neighbor. source: Narinjara News

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