Indian Navy Rescues Hijacked Fishing Vessel with 19 Pakistanis from Armed Somali Pirates in Second Operation within 24 Hours

Indian Navy Rescues Hijacked Fishing Vessel with 19 Pakistanis from Armed Somali Pirates in Second Operation within 24 Hours

Indian Defense officials reported a significant mission wherein the Indian Navy warship INS Sumitra successfully rescued the hijacked fishing vessel Al Naemi from Somali pirates approximately 800 miles off the coast of Kochi. The Al Naemi, navigating the East Coast of Somalia, was freed on Monday with the safe rescue of 19 Pakistani nationals.

This marked the second rescue operation undertaken by the Indian Navy within a 24-hour period. The previous day, the Indian Navy had saved another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, with 17 crew members aboard, from Somali pirates during anti-piracy operations along the east coast of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

Marine Commandos from the Indian Navy played a crucial role in both operations, ensuring the safe rescue of the crew members. Indian Defense officials emphasized that Indian navy warships are strategically deployed across the Indian Ocean region to enhance safety and security.

According to the Indian Navy, the warship INS Sumitra intercepted the distressed vessel, which had been boarded by pirates, and promptly initiated action to rescue the 19 Pakistani national crew members who had been taken hostage.

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The recent hijackings off the coast of Somalia have raised concerns about a potential resurgence of Indian Ocean piracy. This comes in addition to a surge in attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, targeting vessels with Israeli connections. Houthi gunmen have launched numerous attacks in response to Israel’s actions against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

In response to the security challenges, international naval forces have redirected their focus north from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea. There are fears that pirates may exploit this shift in security, with December recording the first successful case of Somali piracy since 2017.

Pirate attacks off the Somalia coast reached a peak in 2011 but significantly declined after international navies deployed warships, and commercial shipping began utilizing armed guards to deter piracy attempts.

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