On March 16 2017 the crew of the MT ARIS 13, a tanker vessel, was released from Somali pirate hands due to the efforts of the Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF). The entire crew is reported unharmed. Under the care of the PMPF, the MT ARIS 13 is now proceeding to the Somali port city of Bosasso. On 13 March, pirates hijacked the vessel en route to Mogadishu from Djibouti. The ship was seized approximately 18 km off the northern tip of Somalia. This incident marks the first hijacking of a large merchant vessel since the height of Somali piracy in 2012.
In the morning of March 16th the PMPF engaged in a firefight with the pirates who were in the midst of resupplying themselves aboard the MT ARIS 13. The PMPF, with the help of local Somali authorities and clan elders in the Xabo region, resolved the situation and the crew of the MT ARIS 13 were released. This operation marks a success in the maritime policing of Somali waters by local law enforcement.
The Puntland Maritime Police Force was formed in 2010 and was deployed against pirates for the first time in 2012. The PMPF has had several successes, including the release of the MV Iceberg 1, the dramatic cliff top rescue of the fishing vessel the al- Amal, and the recent operation against ISIL militants in the town of Qandala.
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