Thu, 18 April 2024
The Daily Ittefaq

Indian navy captures ship from Somali pirates, rescues crew

Update : 17 Mar 2024, 10:44

An Indian navy warship on Saturday captured a bulk carrier off the coast of Somalia, rescuing the crew and ending a three-month hijacking.

The Maltese-flagged MV Ruen was hijacked by Somali pirates in December near the Yemeni island of Socotra, around 240 kilometers (150 miles) off Somalia. 

Announcing the capture, the Indian navy posted on X, formerly Twitter, that one of its warships had "in the last 40 hours, through concerted actions successfully cornered and coerced all 35 Pirates to surrender & ensured safe evacuation of 17 crew members ... from the pirate vessel without any injury."

On Friday, the pirates had opened fire on the Indian navy ship in international waters, prompting the navy to urge the pirates to surrender and release the vessel and any civilians they may be holding.

Increased piracy off Somalia
Before the hijacking of the Ruen on December 14, no cargo vessel had been successfully boarded by Somali pirates since 2017.

However, at least 17 incidents of hijacking, attempted hijacking or suspicious approaches have been recorded by the Indian navy since December, Indian officials have said.

India deployed at least a dozen warships east of the Red Sea in January to provide security against pirates and has investigated more than 250 vessels.

The EU Naval Force warned Thursday that the Ruen could be used by pirates as a "mothership" to carry out further attacks.

The reemergence of Somali piracy comes as Iran-backed Houthi rebels from Yemen target commercial ships in the Red Sea, disrupting traffic headed for the Suez Canal.

Attacks by Somali pirates on vessels were at a peak between 2010 and 2015, but they have declined amid patrols by US and other allied naval forces.

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