New Delhi, Feb 2 (EFE).- The Indian Navy said on Friday that it rescued an Iranian-flagged ship with 19 crew members on board kidnapped by pirates off the east coast of Somalia in its third rescue operation this week.
The Indian Navy said its warship Sharda rescued the vessel FV Omaril with 11 Iranian and eight Pakistani crew members after it came under attack from pirates.
The Indian warship intercepted the fishing vessel in the early hours of Friday and coerced the pirates to safely release the crew along with the boat with the help of a helicopter and boats.
“FV Omari, an Iranian-flagged vessel, had been boarded by seven pirates who had taken the crew hostage,” the navy said.
“Sharda undertook confirmatory boarding on FV Omari to sanitise and check on the well-being of the crew who had been held captive by the Somali pirates.”
It was the third operation of the Indian Navy in the region this week after its warship Sumitra rescued a vessel with 19 Pakistani crew members on Tuesday hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia.
A day earlier, the navy freed another 17 crew members from a ship near the Gulf of Aden.
Since the end of December, India has reinforced surveillance in the Arabian Sea by deploying several destroyers.
The Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden have witnessed heightened tensions, with Houthi rebels launching attacks on commercial ships bound for Israel. In response, the United States and the United Kingdom have conducted airstrikes on insurgent positions in Yemen.
The escalating tension in the region has prompted major shipping companies worldwide to adjust their routes, avoiding the sea route that handles 8 percent of the world’s grain trade, 12 percent of the oil trade, and 8 percent of the international trade in liquefied natural gas. EFE