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'Indian Navy acted only on pirate vessel'

Caught in a controversy over "sinking of a Thai ship", Indian Navy said it was "convinced" that it had acted against a pirate ship on the high seas.

delhi Updated: Nov 26, 2008 19:53 IST

Caught in a controversy over "sinking of a Thai ship", Indian Navy on Wednesday said it was "convinced" that it had acted against a pirate ship on the high seas.

The Navy said its warship INS Tabar had taken against the ship only after being fired at by the pirates on board the vessel.

"As far as we are concerned, we acted against a pirate ship on the high seas," Navy spokesman Nirad Sinha said in New Delhi in the backdrop of a controversy as Thailand has stated that INS Tabar had hit its ship.

Giving details of the operation on November 19, the spokesman said the Naval officers on board the INS Tabar had detected a suspect ship on the high seas and asked it to stop.

"It, however, continued to move while threatening to blow up the Tabar," Sinha said.

"We observed people with guns on the deck. They kept threatening us and fired. Our action was in response to their firing," the spokesman said.

"The kind of explosives and ammunition, which was there on the vessel, proved that it was held by the pirate," he said, adding "we are convinced that we acted against pirates on high seas".

On reports that there were about 14 people on board who had died, the spokesman said the INS Tabar found no bodies.