China said Friday it was sending a warship to help a COSCO Shipping cargo ship that was attacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean near East Africa.
China’s Xinhau news agency said 26 crewmembers of the COSCO Lecong had fought off the attack, which occurred on Thursday, and that one crewmember had been injured.
The agency said the warship was sent from escort duty in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, to help the cargo vessel.
Piracy news from JOC:
Marad Warns of Increasing Pirate Attacks.
COSCO Group lists the 10-year-old Lecong as one of about 65 multi-purpose general cargo vessels in the shipping group’s fleet.
Maritime groups have warned that Somalia-based pirates have grown more aggressive in their attacks on ships in recent months, and launched attacks further from shore. The International Maritime Organization says the pirates hold at least 20 ships and have kidnapped some 100 crew and passengers from ships in the region in the past month.