Indian Navy nabs 23 pirates off Aden (Lead)

December 13th, 2008 - 7:16 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Dec 13 (IANS) In its third rescue act within a month, the Indian Navy Saturday arrested 23 pirates who attempted to hijack an Ethiopian vessel some 160 nautical miles off the Yemeni port of Aden, an official here said.The pirates - 12 Somalis and 11 Yemenis - are being held on board the Indian Navy destroyer INS Mysore that has been deployed in the area while the legalities about their disembarkation and prosecution are worked out, a navy spokesman said.

Giving details of the incident, the spokesman said: “Around 12 noon, INS Mysore received an SOS from the Ethiopian vessel MV Jide, 159 nautical miles east of Aden, that it was under attack from two vessels.

“Armed choppers with Marcos (marine commandoes) immediately flew to the rescue and Mysore also started to close in. The commandoes broke off the attack by the pirates and stopped a dhow and a skiff carrying 12 Somalis and 11 Yemenis (between them),” the spokesman said.

“The pirates are now on board Mysore and further legalities are being looked into as to where they should be disembarked and prosecuted,” the spokesman added

A large cache of arms, including seven AK-47s, one 5.56mm rifle, one 7.62mm rifle, one Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher, 13 loaded magazines, one GPS instrument and one mobile phone were recovered from the pirates, the spokesman said.

On Nov 18, the Indian Navy earned worldwide accolade after the stealth frigate INS Tabar sank a Somali pirate vessel after coming under attack in the Gulf of Aden.

On Nov 8, INS Tabar had, in a daring rescue mission, foiled an attempt by pirates to hijack two ships - and Indian and a Saudi Arabian merchant vessel.

Somali pirates have attempted 95 hijackings this year alone, a 75 percent increase since 2007.

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