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Tensions ease as hijacked ship with 23 crew returns to Ctg port

NAZIMUDDIN SHYAMOL | May 15, 2024 00:00:00

Family members greet the crew of MV Abdullah ship upon their arrival at the Chittagong Port in Chattogram on Tuesday, following their release by the Somali pirates. — AFP

CHATTOGRAM, May 14: The hijacked ship, MV Abdullah, finally came back with all 23 sailors aboard to Chittagong Port on Tuesday afternoon, easing mounting tensions.

The sailors' family members thronged the port jetty to receive them with flowers. They cried with joy while meeting them on their return.

The Bangladeshi flag carrier ship returned safely 62 days after it was hijacked by Somali pirates on March 12.

MV Abdullah and its crew reached Chattogram after it arrived in Kutubdia on Tuesday morning, said officials at KSRM Group and SR Shipping Ltd that owns the ship.

"Later, the seamen reached NCT-1 jetty of Chittagong Port by Jahan Moni-3 at around 4:00pm," an official said.

KSRM Deputy Managing Director Shahriar Jahan Rahat and its Chief Executive Officer Meherul Karim received them at the NCT at Chittagong Port.

Omar Faruk, secretary of the Chittagong Port Authority (CPA), greeted the seamen with flowers.

On the return of the sailors, the CPA hosted a reception in the NCT jetty area in the afternoon.

Chattogram City Corporation Mayor Alhaj Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, CPA Chairman Rear Admiral Mohammad Sohail and other officials were also present.

The seamen are Captain Mohammad Abdur Rashid, Chief Officer Mohammad Atik Ullah Khan, Second Officer Mazharul Islam Chowdhury, Third Officer Md Tarekul Islam, Chief Engineer ASM Saiduzzaman, Second Engineer Md. Taufiqul Islam, Third Engineer Rokan Uddin, Fourth Engineer Tanveer Ahmed, Deck Cadet Md Sabbir Hossain, Engine Cadet Ayub Khan, Electrician Ibrahim Khalil Ullah, Md. Anwarul Haque, Md. Asifur Rahman, Sajjad Hossain, Joy Mahmud, Md Nazmul Haque, Ainul Haque, Oiler Mohammad Shamsuddin, Md Ali Hossain, Fireman Mosharraf Hossain Shakeel, Chief Cook Md. Shafiqul Islam, Md. Noor Uddin and Fitter Md. Saleh Ahmed.

Akhtar Uddin, father of seaman Md Asifur Rahman, said, "I am very happy with the return of my son."

Abdur Nur Khan Asif, brother of MV Abdullah Chief Officer Atik Ullah Khan, said, "I can't express in words how happy we are that my brother has come back safely. The whole family was waiting for this day."

Speaking on the occasion, KSRM DMD Rahat said, "All preparations have been taken to safely send all the sailors to their respective homes."

"I express my gratitude to the Bangladesh government and all concerned for being with us during the crisis period," he said.

The ship was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean on March 12 when it was sailing with coal for the United Arab Emirates from Mozambique.

All the 23 seamen were taken hostage by the pirates who later set free the ship on April 14, some 32 days after their abduction.

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