Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Pirate attack off Suriname leaves at least 12 missing


At least a dozen fishermen from Guyana are missing, feared dead, after a pirate attack off the coast of neighboring Suriname last week that the Guyanese president on Thursday described as a “massacre.”

The bodies of three fishermen have been found, while four escaped and swam to shore, Surinamese authorities said.

Authorities from both nations are continuing to search for the missing men.

Media reports, citing survivors, said that the fishermen were forced to jump into the sea, some with weights tied to their legs.

Piracy has long been rife in the waters off the tiny nations of Suriname and Guyana, as well as neighboring Venezuela.

“We have been very successful over the last three years in curbing piracy. This has come as a setback,” Guyanese President David Granger said.

His counterpart, Surinamese President Desi Bouterse, has yet to speak publicly on the subject, spurring criticisms of a lack of response from the government.

Jerry Slijngard, who coordinates the Surinamese disaster management center, said that victims’ families would be supported by the government.

“The exchange of information, patrols by maritime police and the deployment of technology ... will contribute to reducing this form of crime,” Slijngard said in a statement.

Another boat was attacked off Suriname on Wednesday, according to a fishermen’s association, which said the captain was shot dead, but the rest of the crew survived.

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