NEW DELHI (Mogadishu24)-The Indian Navy said Friday it foiled an attempted piracy attempt along the east coast of Somalia and rescued 19 crew members from a fishing vessel who were held captive by pirates.

“Fishing Vessel Omari, an Iranian Flagged Vessel, had been boarded by seven pirates who had taken the crew as hostages,” it said in a statement.

It said a naval remotely piloted aircraft undertaking surveillance in the area, successfully located the vessel and the Indian Navy Ship Sharda, deployed for an anti-piracy mission in the region, was diverted to intercept the boat.

“Sharda intercepted the vessel in the early hours of 02 Feb 24 and used … boats to coerce the pirates for the safe release of the crew along with the vessel,” said the navy, adding that it ensured the successful release of the 11 Iranians and eight Pakistani nationals along with the boat.

“Relentless efforts by Indian naval platforms, mission deployed for anti-piracy and maritime security operations, continue to save precious life at sea, symbolising the Indian Navy’s resolve toward the safety of all vessels and seafarers at sea,” it said.

The navy said this week it conducted two anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea off Somalia and rescued two hijacked fishing vessels along with 36 crew.

Source: AA

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