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Crew of hijacked Chinese cargo ship rescued

Iran, Islamic Republic Of,Defence/Security, Sat, 07 Apr 2012 IANS

Tehran, April 7 (IANS) All 28 Chinese crew members on board a Chinese cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates have been rescued, the Chinese embassy in Tehran said.


The cargo ship, Xianghuamen, was hijacked by Somali pirates Friday morning in the Sea of Oman near Iran's southern port of Chabahar, Xinhua reported.


The vessel, registered in Panama, belongs to the Nanjing Ocean Shipping company in eastern China.


The ship, setting sail from Shanghai, made a stopover in Singapore to unload some goods and then headed for the Imam Khomeini port in Iran when it was hijacked.


At least nine Somali pirates climbed on to the cargo ship, fired gun shots and seized the Chinese crew members on board.


Two Iranian naval warships took part in the rescue operation, and followed the vessel and ordered the pirates to surrender. The pirates later threw their weapons into the sea and surrendered to the Iranian navy.


The Chinese embassy in Tehran has asked Iranian governmental departments to take all necessary measures to ensure the crew members' safety.


Yu Hongyang, the Chinese ambassador, has requested Iran to put the safety of the hijacked crew members as the first priority. he said the Chinese government and foreign ministry have all expressed concern over the incident.


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