Indian Navy rescues 19 Pakistanis onboard vessel hijacked by Somali pirates | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Indian Navy rescues 19 Pakistani crew onboard vessel hijacked by Somali pirates in Arabian Sea

Jan 30, 2024 09:57 AM IST

Indian Naval ship Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on FV Iman off the east coast of Somalia, rescuing fishing vessel Al Naeemi and crew, 19 Pakistanis.

The Indian Navy's warship INS Sumitra has carried out a second successful anti-piracy operation rescuing 19 crew members and a vessel from armed Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, the spokesperson said on Tuesday. The INS Sumitra thwarted the piracy attempt on FV Iman off the east coast of Somalia, rescuing fishing vessel Al Naeemi and 19 Pakistani nationals from 11 Somali pirates, the spokesperson said on social media X (formally X).

Indian Navy commandos with Somali pirates.(Indian Navy)
Indian Navy commandos with Somali pirates.(Indian Navy)

The operation was carried out after the INS Sumitra safely rescued the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel Iman from Somali pirates, which had 17 crew members onboard in its anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden on Sunday night.

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Also Read: Indian Navy thwarts hijacking bid off Somali coast, rescues Iranian vessel

The Indian Navy said its warship INS Sumitra intercepted the vessel and acted in accordance with the established SOPs to coerce the pirates for the safe release of the crew along with the boat, and ensured the successful release of all 17 crew members along with the boat.

“INS Sumitra, post rescuing MV Iman, was again pressed into action to locate & intercept another Iranian flagged FV which had been boarded by pirates and her Crew taken hostage,” the Indian Navy said on Tuesday.

Responding swiftly to the developing situation, the INS Sumitra “intercepted the FV on PM 29 Jan 24 & through coercive posturing & effective deployment of her integral helo & boats compelled the safe release of the crew and the vessel”.

“This rescue of hijacked Vessels, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts by Mission Deployed Indian Navy warship in the Southern Arabian Sea approx 850 nm West of Kochi, also prevents misuse of Fishing Vessels as Mother Ships for further acts of Piracy on Merchant Vessels,” it added.

Navy warship secures release of hijacked Iranian fishing vessel

The Indian Navy swiftly responded to a distress call from the vessel on Sunday night. "INS Sumitra, deployed on anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden, responded to a distress message regarding the hijacking of an Iranian flagged fishing vessel Iman," Indian Navy spokesperson commander Vivek Madhwal said.

The fishing vessel had been boarded by pirates and the crew members were taken as hostages, Madhwal said.

The vessel was subsequently sanitised and released for onward transit.

"Mission deployed Indian naval ships on anti-piracy and maritime security operations in the Indian Ocean region symbolises the Indian Navy's resolve towards the safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea," the spokesperson said.

The response by the Indian Navy to the fresh incident came two days after its warship INS Visakhapatnam extinguished a fire onboard a commercial oil tanker with 22 Indian crew when the vessel was struck by a missile in the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy deployed its missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam to assist the vessel after receiving a distress call from it on Friday night.

The US Central Command or CENTCOM had said the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel MV Marlin Luanda was hit by an anti-ship ballistic missile fired by Iran-backed Houthi militants.

The Indian Navy on January 5 thwarted an attempted hijacking of Liberian-flagged vessel MV Lila Norfolk in the North Arabian Sea and rescued all its crew members.

Liberian-flagged vessel MV Chem Pluto, with 21 Indian crew members, was the target of a drone attack off India's west coast on December 23.

Besides MV Chem Pluto, another commercial oil tanker that was on the way to India came under a suspected drone strike in the Southern Red Sea on the same day. The vessel had a team of 25 Indian crew.

The Indian Navy has already enhanced the deployment of its frontline ships and surveillance aircraft for maritime security operations in view of the maritime environment in the critical sea lanes including in the north and central Arabian Sea.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI)

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