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Indian Navy Rescues 17 Crew Members by Capturing Ship from Somali Pirates

Indian navy captures ship from Somali pirates, rescuing 17 crew members

The Indian Navy has successfully concluded a high-stakes operation off the Indian coast, putting an end to the three-month hijacking ordeal of the Maltese-flagged bulk carrier, MV Ruen.

According to a navy spokesperson, Indian naval forces, along with special commandos, conducted a decisive operation to seize the cargo vessel, which had fallen into the hands of Somali pirates. The operation resulted in the rescue of all 17 crew members who had been held captive.

In a statement posted on the social media platform X, the navy announced that all 35 pirates aboard the MV Ruen had surrendered, and the vessel was thoroughly inspected for any illegal weapons, ammunition, or contraband.

The hijacking of the MV Ruen occurred late last year, and the navy’s interception of the vessel took place on Friday, marking a significant breakthrough in the ongoing battle against piracy in the region.

“The pirates onboard the vessel were urged to surrender and release the vessel, along with any civilians they may have been holding against their will,” stated the navy.

Emphasizing its unwavering commitment to maritime security and the safety of seafarers in the area, the Indian navy underscored its dedication to combating piracy threats effectively.

Furthermore, it was suggested that the MV Ruen might have served as a staging point for the recent seizure of a Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship off the Somali coast, as reported by the European Union naval force.

The hijacking of the Ruen in December marked the first successful piracy incident involving Somali pirates since 2017 when international naval operations had largely curbed such activities in the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean.

The recent operation was spearheaded by #INSKolkata, which, in a span of 40 hours, orchestrated a series of coordinated actions resulting in the surrender of all 35 pirates and the safe evacuation of the 17 crew members from the pirate vessel, without any casualties.

Somali pirates had remained relatively dormant for some time but reemerged with renewed attacks late last year, causing disruptions in crucial global waterways.

India’s proactive response to piracy threats has seen the deployment of a substantial fleet of warships east of the Red Sea, augmenting security measures against pirate activities while Western powers redirect their focus towards challenges posed by groups like Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis.

Furthermore, heightened surveillance efforts in the Arabian Sea have been undertaken following a series of recent attacks in the region, underlining the Indian Navy’s resolve to safeguard maritime interests.

In January, the navy successfully rescued all crew members of a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel following an attempted hijacking in the Arabian Sea, underscoring its proactive stance against maritime threats.

Data from the Indian navy’s Information Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Region reveals at least 17 incidents of hijacking, attempted hijacking, and suspicious approaches since December 1, highlighting the persistent challenges posed by piracy in the region.

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