Indian Navy launches operation to rescue Iranian fishing vessel hijacked by armed pirates

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy on Friday said it is currently engaged in an operation to rescue a "hijacked" Iranian fishing vessel, which has reportedly been boarded by nine armed pirates, and its crew at sea.

Based on inputs about a "potential piracy incident" on board the Iranian fishing vessel 'Al Kambar 786' on Thursday late evening, two Indian naval ships, mission deployed in the Arabian Sea for maritime security operations were "diverted to intercept the hijacked fishing vessel," according to an official statement shared by the Navy's spokesperson.

The fishing vessel at the time of the incident was approximately 90 nm southwest of Socotra and was "reported to have been boarded by nine armed pirates," it said.

The hijacked vessel was intercepted on Thursday, the Navy said. "The operation is currently underway by the Indian Navy towards the rescue of hijacked FV and its crew. The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring maritime security in the region and safety of seafarers, irrespective of the nationalities," the statement said.

Socotra Archipelago is in the northwest Indian Ocean near the Gulf of Aden. The Indian Navy will take "affirmative action" to ensure a safer and more secure Indian Ocean Region, its chief Admiral R Hari Kumar had said on March 23 while citing the anti-piracy and other maritime security operations undertaken by the naval force in the preceding 100 days under 'Op Sankalp'.

As part of maritime security operations, the Navy has undertaken anti-piracy, anti-missiles and anti-drones operations; 110 lives -- 45 Indians and 65 foreign nationals -- have been saved during 'Op Sankalp' in those 100 days, according to a PPT presentation that was given by a Navy officer before the press conference of the Navy chief on March 23.

It was also mentioned in the presentation that from November last year till March, "more than 90 maritime incidents have happened", including 57 drone or missile attacks or sightings; and 39 incidents that include piracy, hijacking, or suspicious approaches.

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