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Sunday, 3 October 2010

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Sea pirates kill Lankan captain

The Lankan captain of the oil tanker Ocean Trite, Sunil Dharmaratne had allegedly been stabbed and then shot dead when he fought with the sea pirates who were after valuables on board, shipping sources told Sunday Observer yesterday.

An External Affairs Ministry spokesperson said the details as to how he got killed could not be confirmed pending investigations by Sharjah law enforcing authorities.

"Our Consul General in Dubai was to travel to Sharjah on Friday to take over the Captain's body and get an update on the progress of the investigations but since it was a holiday there he may have been held up," the spokesperson said.The shipping sources said the pirates who had got into the slow moving tanker in the dead of the night had first sprayed crew unconscious before storming into the Captain's Cabin demanding cash and valuables.

The incident had taken place in UAE - Iran Maritime Boarder last Sunday.

Dharmaratne who was a retired Naval officer had been a well experienced captain of merchant vessels. He had refused to give into the men's demands and in an attempt of self defence had attacked one of the pirates, allegedly a Persian man, with a knife.

This action had infuriated the pirates who in turn stabbed and then shot the captain on his leg. He had not survived the injuries till the ship reached Port.

The sources said the men who attacked Ocean Trite were maritime looters who are after cash and valuables. There had not been an attempt to hijack the ship for ransom taking which is the usual practice of fierce Somalian sea pirates.

 

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