New Delhi: In another successful anti-piracy operation, Navy warship Saturday repulsed an attack on a merchant vessel in the Gulf of Aden and nabbed 23 Somali and Yemeni sea brigands, in a show of resolve to weed out the menace that affected maritime trade in the region.
The pirates on two speed boats had surrounded the merchant vessel flying the Ethiopian flag around noon, when INS Mysore warship intervened and warded off the attack, Navy spokesperson said here.
The pirates had fired at the merchant vessel with their small arms, when it sent out a rescue call and the Indian warship, which was sailing nearby moved its Marine Commandos on an helicopter to help the distressed cargo vessel, he said.
The attack took place about 150 nautical miles off Aden and INS Mysore was about 13 nautical miles away from the merchant vessel when it picked up the SOS call.
The Navy flew its Marine Commandos on helicopters to the scene of the pirate attack and rescued the ship. MV Gibe was later escorted to safety, he added.
The Naval commandos also boarded the pirates’ boats and seized seven AK-47 assault rifles, two other rifles, a grenade launcher and 13 fully loaded magazines of ammunition from the 12 Somali and 11 Yemeni pirates on board the two pirate boats.
Further search for other pirates, who fled from the spot following the Indian Naval intervention, was in progress, the spokesperson said.
Last month, Navy warship INS Tabar, a missile-frigate, had sunk a mothership of the pirates and had also rescued two merchant vessels that were under attack from the sea brigands.