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Hijacked Ship MV Abdullah Released from Somali Pirate Captivity

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MV Abdullah

Bangladeshi cargo ship MV Abdullah and its 23 crew members, previously held hostage by Somali pirates, have been released.

KSRM media advisor Mizanul Islam confirmed the news at 3:45 am on Sunday. He informed the media, “We received the good news a while ago. Our ship with 23 sailors has been released. All 23 sailors are unharmed and in good health. We will hold a press conference at the KSRM headquarters at noon on Sunday to provide details.”

The Bangladeshi-flagged ship and its crew were freed after 31 days of captivity in the Indian Ocean, although the exact ransom amount remains undisclosed.

According to a Somali news outlet, MV Abdullah was released in exchange for $5 million (Tk 55 crore).

When questioned about the ransom payment, Mizanul responded, “I can’t disclose that at this moment. But we were able to negotiate the release of our ship and sailors.”

Meanwhile, the ship has departed Somalia and is en route to the United Arab Emirates, as confirmed by KSRM Group’s deputy managing director, Shahriar Jahan Rahat. He stated, “Our ship has left for the United Arab Emirates after being released.”

The incident occurred on March 12 at 1:30 pm Bangladesh time, when Somali pirates hijacked MV Abdullah while it was traveling from the port of Maputo, Mozambique, to the United Arab Emirates. The ship, carrying 55,000 tons of coal, had a crew of 23 Bangladeshis. It is owned by SR Shipping Limited, a subsidiary of Chattogram-based Kabir Group. The pirates subsequently took the vessel to the coast of Somalia.

Nine days after the hijacking, the pirates contacted the ship’s owner to demand ransom, initiating negotiations at various levels. The ship’s owner had hinted at the sailors’ potential release later in the month.

SR Shipping is one of the country’s leading shipping companies, operating ocean-going merchant ships. The bulk carrier MV Abdullah, with a deadweight tonnage (DWT) of 45,653 tons, measures 185.74 meters in overall length (LOA) and 30.4 meters in width.

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Met Warns of Heat Wave Across Bangladesh

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Heatwave met

The Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) reports that all divisions, including Dhaka, are currently experiencing a mild to moderate heat wave.

According to the Met office, a mild to moderate heat wave is sweeping across Dhaka, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Mymensingh, Khulna, Barishal, Chattogram, and Sylhet divisions, with the possibility of continuation.

Meanwhile, forecasts indicate the likelihood of light to moderate rain or thunder showers accompanied by temporary gusty or squally wind in most places over Khulna, Barishal, and Chattogram divisions, and in many places over Dhaka, Mymensingh, and Sylhet divisions. Moderately heavy to very heavy falls are expected at some places over the southern part of the country.

Elsewhere in the country, the weather is expected to remain mainly dry with a temporary partly cloudy sky.

The depression over the East-central Bay and adjoining West-central Bay has moved northeastwards and intensified into a deep depression over the same area.

Day temperatures are expected to remain relatively unchanged, while night temperatures may decrease by 1-2°C across the country.

Due to increased moisture incursion, the discomfort may persist.

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PM Sheikh Hasina Pledges Enhanced Living Standards for Dhaka Residents

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Sheikh Hasina

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina emphasized today, on the 25th of May, the government’s commitment to enhancing the quality of life for residents of Dhaka, particularly those in the old city, as she inaugurated four key development projects under the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).

She articulated, “The residents of Dhaka, especially in the old city, will experience significant improvements in their living conditions once these four projects are completed. Our efforts are dedicated to achieving this objective.”

The development initiatives encompass a 10-storey Bangabazar Paikari Nagar Market, the construction of an eight-lane road named Bir Muktijoddha Sheikh Fazlul Haque Mani Saroni stretching from Postogola Bridge to Rayerbazar Sluice Gate, the establishment of Nazrul Sarabor at Dhanmondi Lake, and the modernization of Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy Children Park.

Highlighting the broader scope of development projects aimed at the overall enhancement of Dhaka, the prime minister stressed the government’s endeavors to improve inter-district connectivity with Dhaka.

“We are dedicated to establishing a ring road within Dhaka to facilitate seamless communication between various districts,” she affirmed.

Furthermore, the premier noted the lack of adequate road infrastructure connecting the eastern and western parts of Dhaka. She highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts, including the construction of metro rails and expressways, to address this issue and enhance road connectivity within the city.

The government has already made significant strides in infrastructure development, including the construction of a metro rail and expressway, with additional metro rail projects underway to further improve transportation networks, she added.

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Rain, Thunderstorms Likely in Parts of Bangladesh: Met

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rain

The Meteorological Department forecasts that rain or thundershowers, accompanied by temporary gusty or squally winds, are likely to occur at one or two places in the Chattogram and Sylhet divisions. Meanwhile, the weather is expected to remain mainly dry with a partly cloudy sky across the rest of the country over the next 24 hours, starting from 9 am today.

A mild heatwave is currently affecting the districts of Madaripur, Gopalganj, Sylhet, Chattogram, Rangamati, Chandpur, Noakhali, Feni, Bandarban, Khulna, Mongla, Satkhira, Chuadanga, Khepupara, and Bhola, with expectations for it to continue.

On Wednesday, Sitakunda recorded the highest temperature in the country at 37.8 degrees Celsius, while Bogura reported the lowest at 23.4 degrees Celsius. Additionally, Bogura experienced the highest rainfall, with 80 millimeters recorded in the last 24 hours until 6 am today.

A low-pressure area over the Southwest Bay and its adjoining regions now lies over the West-central Bay and the adjoining Southwest Bay, and it is likely to intensify further.

Both day and night temperatures may rise slightly across the country. The increase in moisture is expected to cause a rise in discomfort levels.

In Dhaka, the sun is set to rise at 5:12 am tomorrow after setting at 6:38 pm today.

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