16 missing after Bangladesh pirate attack

AP News
Posted: Dec 08, 2009 8:13 AM

Sixteen fishermen remained missing Tuesday off Bangladesh's southern coast after pirates attacked their vessel last week, survivors and the boat's owner said.

Eighteen fishermen were assaulted in the Bay of Bengal by a band of 25-30 pirates Friday, said fishermen Shahidullah and Abdur Rahim. Shahidullah like many Bangladeshis uses only one name.

The survivors said the pirates severely beat them and slashed some of the fishermen with knives before throwing them all overboard.

Shahidullah and Rahim were rescued by another fishing boat, but the other fishermen remain missing in waters off Cox's Bazar, a coastal town 185 miles (296 kilometers) south of the capital, Dhaka.

"The pirates took away the boat, fish and nets from us," Shahidullah told The Associated Press.

Pirate attacks on local fishermen are common in the Bay of Bengal. Fishermen and boat owners say authorities don't do enough to police the waters.

Salamat Ullah, the owner of the missing boat, said he filed a complaint with police.

"We are continuing our regular patrol," Cox's Bazar coast guard official Lt. A.K. Chakrabarty said.