Indian Navy responds to pirate attack in Arabian Sea | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian Navy responds to pirate attack in Arabian Sea

ByRahul Singh
Mar 30, 2024 06:51 AM IST

Two Indian naval ships, deployed for maritime security operations, were diverted to intercept the hijacked fishing vessel reportedly boarded by 9 armed pirates

NEW DELHI: Two Indian Navy warships were on Thursday sent to track a hijacked Iranian fishing vessel (FV) in the Arabian Sea, with the navy intercepting it on Friday, the navy said.

The hijacked fishing vessel was around 90 nautical miles southwest of Socotra, the Indian Navy said in a statement (X/indiannavy)
The hijacked fishing vessel was around 90 nautical miles southwest of Socotra, the Indian Navy said in a statement (X/indiannavy)

This is the latest in a series of anti-piracy operations the navy has undertaken during the last 100 days.

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“Based on the inputs on a potential piracy incident on board Iranian Fishing Vessel ‘Al Kambar 786’ late evening on 28 Mar 24, two Indian Naval ships, mission deployed in Arabian Sea for maritime security operations, were diverted to intercept the hijacked fishing vessel,” the navy said in a statement.

The FV was around 90 nautical miles southwest of Socotra and was reported to have been boarded by nine armed pirates, it said.

“The operation is currently underway by the Indian Navy towards rescue of hijacked FV and its crew.”

The development came days after the navy apprehended 35 Somali pirates and ensured the safe evacuation of 17 crew members of the hijacked vessel Ruen after a 40-hour operation that involved the elite marine commandos being air-dropped from C-17 aircraft around 1,400 nautical miles (2,600 km) from the country’s shores.

The mission involved INS Kolkata, which intercepted the pirate ship, INS Subhadra, Sea Guardian remotely piloted aircraft and P8-I maritime patrol aircraft.

The 35 pirates were handed over to the Mumbai police on March 23.

“Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring maritime security in the region and safety of seafarers, irrespective of the nationalities,” the statement added.

The navy, which has more than 10 warships deployed in the region, has thwarted several piracy attempts in and around the Arabian Sea during the last 100 days and responded to distress calls made by merchant ships hit by missiles and drones launched by the Houthis.

On March 23, navy chief Admiral R Hari Kumar said not a single Indian-flagged vessel has been targeted in and around the Red Sea by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who have mostly attacked ships linked to Israel and western nations after tensions escalated in the region following the Israel-Hamas conflict that began on October 7, 2023, but the situation in the western Indian Ocean is volatile and the Indian Navy will remain deployed there till normalcy returns.

In the last 100-plus days, 21 Indian warships have been deployed for operations in the region, accounting for around 5,000 naval personnel being at sea, and 900 hours of flying by the maritime surveillance aircraft, according to Indian Navy data. The navy has carried out almost 1,000 boarding operations on the high seas. It is conducting maritime security operations in three areas --- in and around the Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and off the Somali coast.

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