Indian Navy warship deployed near Somali coast to free sailors

April 19th, 2011 - 1:37 pm ICT by ANI  

Pranab Mukherjee New Delhi, Apr 19 (ANI): The Indian Navy has sent a naval warship to the Somali coast in order to secure the release of seven of its citizens held captive by the pirates despite taking ransom.

A Talwar Class stealth warship has been deployed near the Somali coast, which will remain close to the hijacked ship and ensure that MV Asphalt Venture doesn’t get hijacked again nor other groups harm its crew.

The decision was taken in a high level meeting where Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister P Chidambaram, Defence Minister AK Antony and Navy Chief Nirmal Verma were present.

The pirates had released eight Indian sailors from merchant vessel MV Asphalt Venture but have held back seven hostages to secure the release of their accomplices in Indian jails.

The Indian Navy has so far captured 120 Somali pirates during its anti-piracy operations in the waters off Gulf of Aden and Lakshadweep Islands in the last six months.

According to reports, 53 Indian sailors are being held hostage on five different ships. (ANI)

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