Highlights

  • Ship with 15 Indian crew hijacked near Somalia coast: officials
  • Indian Navy has established communication with crew: officials
  • INS Chennai moving towards hijacked ship: official

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Ship with 15 Indian crew hijacked near Somalia coast: officials

The Indian Navy has deployed warship INS Chennai following the hijacking of a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel near Somalia coast.

Ship with 15 Indian crew hijacked near Somalia coast: officials

The Indian Navy has deployed a warship following an incident of hijacking of a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel, with some Indian crew members, in the Arabian Sea.

The incident of hijacking of the cargo ship MV Lila Norfolk was reported on Thursday by the UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a British military organisation that tracks movements of various vessels in strategic waterways.

Indian Navy's mission deployed platforms responded swiftly to a maritime incident in the Arabian Sea involving the hijacking on board a Liberia-flagged bulk carrier, a Navy spokesperson said.

He said the vessel sent a message on UKMTO portal indicating boarding by around five to six unknown armed personnel on Thursday evening.

Responding swiftly to the developing situation, Indian Navy launched a maritime patrol and has diverted INS Chennai deployed for maritime security Operations to assist the vessel.

It is learnt that the crew of the vessel comprised a number of Indians.

Indian Navy's maritime patrol aircraft overflew the vessel early Friday and established contact with the vessel, ascertaining the safety of the crew, the official said.

"Naval aircraft continues to monitor movement and INS Chennai is closing the vessel to render assistance," he said.

"The overall situation is being closely monitored, in coordination with other agencies in the area," he said.

Also watch: US warns Houthis to stop attacks on Red Sea vessels or face military action

"The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of merchant shipping in the region along with international partners and friendly foreign countries," the spokesperson added.


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