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MINISTRY OF SECURITY AND DDR PUNTLAND STATE OF SOMALIA: UPDATE ON INVESTIGATION INTO DEATH OF PMPF TRAINER

May 31, 2012 – The Puntland Government has arrested several suspects in connection with the death of Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF) trainer Lodewyk Pietersen. The suspects are being held and the investigation is ongoing.

Pietersen was killed on 27 April 2012 during an anti-piracy operation that succeeded in driving pirates from the town of Iskushuban. The Puntland Government greatly appreciates the work of the PMPF mentors to develop an effective, locally recruited coastal police force. The PMPF continues to achieve significant counter-piracy successes and has garnered substantial national and international support.

The PMPF has secured the coastal town of Eyl, formerly a notorious pirate hub. Most recently, the PMPF captured several pirates, including the leader of the pirate gang suspected in the kidnapping of a Danish family last year and responsible for the fatal ambush of Puntland security forces during a March 2011 rescue attempt. Both the rescue operation – which killed five Puntland security personnel and wounded eight others – and the tragic incident involving Mr. Pietersen occurred near Hul Anod, a coastal area where hijacked ships have been held for ransom.

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