Indian, Chinese Navy ships dash Somali pirates attempt to hijack Tuvalu-flagged container ship

By: | Updated: April 9, 2017 2:21 PM

Two Indian Navy ships INS Tarkash and INS Mumbai have been pressed into service to assist Chinese PLA in sanitising a ship that was reportedly hijacked by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

The Navy has provided the communication and air support to the PLA. (PTI)

Indian and Chinese  Navy ships today dashed an attempt by Somalian pirates to hijack a ship in the Gulf of Aden today. Earlier,  two Indian Navy ships INS Tarkash and INS Mumbai were pressed into service to assist Chinese PLA in sanitising a ship that was reportedly hijacked from the area. The Navy has provided the communication and air support to the PLA Navy which had entered the ship in order to clear it. The hijacked ship has been rendered safe.

Yesterday, there were reports of Somali pirates hijacking a bulk carrier ship, in the latest string of incidents after some years of calm. As per reports, a senior official working at the Puntland Marine Police Force was quoted as saying that the ship was Tuvalu-flagged and is named OS35. According to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which looks after the shipping in the Gulf of Aden area, has confirmed on its website of receiving a message from a vessel in the Gulf of Aden that was under attack.

“Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise extreme caution,” UKMTO said.

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The latest incident of hijacking comes days after pirates hijacked an Indian dhow that was on on its way to Bossaso from Dubai. Last month, Somali pirates had hijacked an oil tanker in March, but had released it after a clash with the marine force in Puntland. Some experts believe that after a long period of calmness of the sea, shipowners had become less worried of any hijacking. Some ships had also changed its route to Socotra Gap, between Somalia and Socotra Island, to save time and costs.

In 2011, the pirates had launcheed nearly 237 attacks off the coast of Somalia and took several hostages, a report by International Maritime Bureau had said. The hijacking by pirates had cost cost the world economy $7 billion and earned them about $160 million in ransoms, the bureau said further.

(With iputs from Reuters)

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