The Indian Navy captured pirates attempting to seize two foreign-flag cargo vessels in the Gulf of Aden, Navy officials said Tuesday.
Officials said the operation was launched Sunday when Indian Naval warship INS Sukanya on routine escort duty in the pirate-infested region spotted two skiffs in the vicinity of the MV Fairchem Bronco and MV Conqueror.
“The action took place in darkness but the commandos successfully neutralized the pirates and seized their arms and ammunition including communication equipment. The pirates were also carrying ropes and ladder to board the merchant vessels,” the navy said.
Nine attackers were captured and disarmed by Indian commandos, who later escorted the two merchant ships out of the area. Officials also said the Indian Navy, which began anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden in 2008, escorted a total of 1,700 commercial ships including foreign-flag vessels and thwarted 39 hijacking attempts.
The Gulf of Aden is a crucial shipping channel for merchant vessels passing to and from the Suez Canal. To protect themselves from piracy, many ships are now navigating the gulf in convoys.