Sunday, December 14, 2008
In its third rescue act within a month, the Indian Navy on 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 destroyer INS Mysore, deployed in the area, while the legalities about their disembarkation and prosecution are being worked out, a navy spokesman said. The pirates on two speed boats had surrounded the merchant vessel flying the Ethiopian flag around noon, when the INS Mysore intervened and warded off the attack, the spokesperson said here. Giving details, the spokesman said: “Around 12 noon, the 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.
INS Mysore (D60)Armed choppers with Marcos (marine commandos) immediately flew to the scene and the INS Mysore also started to close in.The commandos broke off the attack by the pirates and stopped a dhow and a skiff carrying 12 Somalis and 11 Yemenis, the spokesman said. “The pirates are now on board the INS 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 7.62 mm rifle, one rocket propelled grenade launcher, 13 loaded magazines, one GPS instrument and one mobile phone were seized from the pirates, the spokesman said. He said search for other pirates who escaped following the Indian Naval intervention was on. On November 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 November 8, the INS Tabar had in a daring rescue mission foiled an attempt by pirates to hijack an Indian vessel and a Saudi Arabian merchant ship. Somali pirates have attempted 95 hijackings this year alone, a 75 per cent increase since 2007.