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Rebels aid crew of disabled ship

December 25, 2006|From Times Wire Reports

The crew of a Jordanian ship that developed engine trouble and strayed into waters controlled by Sri Lankan rebels was freed, the ship's owner and a separatist spokesman said.

The Farha-3, carrying 14,000 tons of rice bound for South Africa, drifted into waters off Sri Lanka's northeast coast Friday, and Tamil Tiger rebels came to the ship's assistance, said Rasiah Ilanthirayan, a spokesman for the separatist group.

Once safely ashore, the crew of 25 -- from Jordan, Egypt and Iraq -- asked for food prepared in compliance with Islamic law, Ilanthirayan said. The rebels, who are mostly Hindus, summoned some Muslim residents to help arrange for the meal.

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