Two fishermen in a boat were killed after security detail onboard a merchant vessel fired at them off Alapuzha coast on Wednesday evening, suspecting them to be pirates, police said.
The fishermen from Kanyakumari in Tamil Nadu had put out to sea on Wesdnesday morning from Neendakara in Kollam district.
A naval press release said personnel onboard 'Enrica Lexie' fired on the fishermen mistaking them for pirates and that the vessel informed authorities about the incident.
The Coast Guard then launched two ships 'Sumar' and 'Lakshmi Bai' and an aircraft to trace the ship, located it and asked it to anchor off Kochi for a detailed investigation.
INS Kabra from the southern naval command was also put out to sea for the operation.