Pirate attack off Suriname leaves 16 missing and feared dead

Authorities in Suriname say 16 fishermen are missing and feared dead after pirates raided their boats off the coast of the South American country.

An official with Suriname’s Coast Guard says the men were part of a group of 20 who were beaten and robbed and then forced to jump into the sea and abandon their boats. Some victims reportedly had batteries tied to their legs to weigh them down.

Cmdr. Jerry Slijngard told reporters that the Coast Guard was searching for the men Monday. Four of the fishermen made it to shore following the Friday night attack and three of them remain hospitalized.

 Fisheries Collective Association President Mark Lall says fishermen have been too fearful to work since the attack.

Authorities suspect the pirates came from neighboring Guyana.