Indian Navy foils another piracy attempt

November 11th, 2011 - 10:28 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi/Mumbai, Nov 11 (IANS) A five-boat pirate attack on merchant vessels transiting the Gulf of Aden was foiled by an Indian warship that was on escort duty, capturing 26 Somani brigands on three of the skiffs and confiscating their weapons, a naval officer said here Friday.

Patrol vessel INS Sukanya was escorting the five merchant vessels through the Internationally Recognised Transit Corridor in the Gulf of Aden Thursday morning when the warship’s crew noticed the five-boat pirate formation approaching the cargo ship group.

“The warship immediately altered towards the suspicious vessels and challenged them,” the officer said, adding the pirate skiffs then reversed course and tried to flee the area.

“While two of the skiffs and its crew managed to get away, Sukanya successfully intercepted the remaining three skiffs and carried out well-practiced and professionally executed boarding-and-search action.

“The three boats had a total of 26 Somali crew on board. During the operation, six AK-47 rifles, 12 magazines and about 300 rounds of ammunition were found and confiscated,” the officer said.

In addition, the naval boarding party also found a host of other equipment such as grapnels, ladders and rope-handling gloves, all of which confirmed their intent to attack and hijack the merchant vessels, he said.

This anti-piracy action by INS Sukanya was the fifth successful operation by its crew during its current patrol mission in the Gulf of Aden since September this year.

INS Sukanya has seized a total of 14 AK-47 rifles, 31 magazines and 923 rounds of ammunition during the five operations it carried out there, the officer said.

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