India jails 61 suspected pirates nabbed at sea

AP News
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Posted: Mar 16, 2011 8:55 AM
India jails 61 suspected pirates nabbed at sea

The Indian navy says it has placed 61 suspected pirates in police custody in Mumbai after capturing them this week in the Arabian Sea.

Navy spokesman Narendra Vispute says the suspected pirates arrived Wednesday in Mumbai and would likely be charged Thursday with attacking Indian ships.

The suspects were living on a hijacked ship spotted last Friday by a patrol aircraft. Indian naval ships closed in Sunday night, and the pirates fired on them. The pirate vessel caught fire when the Indian navy returned fire, and the navy captured 61 people who jumped into the water to flee.

Piracy has long plagued the shipping industry off East Africa, but violence has escalated in recent months. Pirates held some 30 ships and more than 660 hostages as of February.