Indian Navy repulses attack, arrests 23 pirates off Somali coast

December 13th, 2008 - 7:37 pm ICT by ANI  

By Praful Kumar Singh

New Delhi, Dec 13 (ANI): Leading the fight against piracy Indian naval warship, INS Mysore, deployed in the Gulf of Aden attacked two boats of pirates and arrested 23 sea brigands today after receiving signals from an Ethiopian ship that they were trying to hijack it.

Out of 23 arrested pirates, 12 are reportedly from Somalia and 11 from Yemen. Twelve AK 47 guns, three rifles, two grenades along with other ammunitions were seized from the pirates.

MV Gibe, a merchant vessel flying the Ethiopian flag, send emergency signals around noon for help after which the Indian warship patrolling in the Somali waters launched the rescue operation.

Marine commandos were dispatched in a helicopter after INS Mysore received a distress call from the cargo vessel that the pirates had fired on the merchant vessel with their small arms.

The INS Mysore intervened and warded off the attack on the merchant vessel carried out by the pirates who came in two speedboats, Navy spokesperson said here.

The spokesperson said that the Navy flew its Marine Commandos on helicopters to the scene of the pirate attack and rescued the ship. MV Gibe was later escorted to safety, he added.

Last month INS Tabar, armed with supersonic BrahMos (PJ-10) anti-ship cruise missiles, sank a mother ship of pirates off the Somali coast after an exchange of fire.

The attack took place about 150 nautical miles off Aden and INS Mysore was about 13 nautical miles away from the merchant vessel when it picked up the SOS call.

The Indian Navy has been conducting anti-piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since October 23 as a sizeable portion of our countrys trade flows through the area and there has been a quantum increase in the number of piracy attacks in this region over the last few months.

The Navy carries out these patrols in coordination with the Ministry of Shipping and is intended to protect Indian merchant vessels from being attacked by pirates and also to instill confidence in our large seafaring community. (ANI)

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