DHAKA, April 1 (Xinhua) -- At least 16 fishermen have been killed when they were attacked by pirates near Kutubdia, an island off the coastal town of Cox's Bazaar in southeastern Bangladesh, police said Monday.
Pirates dumped the bodies in the Bay of Bengal. "We've come to know that 16 fishermen's bodies were found floating in the bay of Bengal," said Mohammad Azad Mia, police chief in Cox's Bazaar, some 392 km southeast of capital Dhaka.
He said some 23 fishermen, who about a week ago sailed out from Kutubdia island have been missing for the last a couple of days.
Mia said so far there is no specific information regarding the deaths of the fishermen whose bodies were found floating with hands and feet tied.
"It seems that most of the fishermen were thrown alive into the sea."
He said the bodies were recovered in a sea area which is about 50 km away from Kutubdia Island which is also very close to Rambree Island of Arakan State of Myanmar.
He said they have no information about the seven missing fishermen.
Bangladesh in August last year launched a joint air and naval operation in the Bay of Bengal after 50 fishermen were abducted by armed pirates with sophisticated weapons.
The incidents of murder are very rare although kidnapping for ransom occurs occasionally along the South Asian country's estuaries where hundreds of thousands of fishermen are reliant on catching fish throughout the year.