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Indian Navy rescued Bangladeshi vessel near Somalia, attacked by Somalian pirates

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NEW DELHI : The Indian Navy responded to an SOS by a Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship that was seized by pirates off the Somalia coast and took 23 of its crew members hostage earlier this week, the Navy said in a statement on Friday.

The Bangladeshi-flagged vessel, MV Abdullah, was en route from Mozambique to the United Arab Emirates with a cargo of around 55,000 tonnes of coal when it was attacked by Somalian pirates on the evening of March 12 (Tuesday).

On receipt of intimation, the Indian Navy promptly deployed the Long-Range Maritime Patrol (LRMP) aircraft to rescue the vessel.

“After locating MV Abdullah, the LRMP attempted to establish communication to ascertain the status of the ship’s crew members. However, no response was received from the ship,” said the Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy’s deployed warship, which was diverted earlier, intercepted the hijacked merchant vessel. As per officials, the warship successfully intercepted the Bangladeshi ship on the morning of March 14.

Later, the safety of the hijacked crew members (all Bangladesh nationals) was ascertained, and the warship continued to stay in the close vicinity of the MV Abdullah till its arrival in the territorial waters of Somalia.

A group of 15-20 Somali pirates hijacked the ship,” said Mr. Meherul Karim, Chief Executive Officer of Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills, which owns MV Abdullah.

The incident happened in the Indian Ocean about 600 nautical miles (1,111km) east of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, Al Jazeera quoted Maritime security firm Ambrey as saying.

Hijackings off Somalia coast since December have sparked worries about a resurgence of piracy in the Indian Ocean, coinciding with a separate increase in attacks on shipping initiated by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The Houthis have been responsible for numerous attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, specifically targeting vessels they claim are associated with Israel, the United States, or the United Kingdom. These attacks are purportedly in retaliation to Israel’s military actions in Gaz

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