Indian naval warship reaches hijacked cargo ship with 15 Indians off Somalia coast, warns 'pirates to abandon'

A cargo ship, 'MV LILA NORFOLK' has been hijacked late last evening near the coast of Somalia and is being closely watched by the Indian Navy which has rushed a warship towards it. The hijacked ship has 15 Indians on board and communication has been established with the crew.
Indian naval warship reaches hijacked cargo ship with 15 Indians off Somalia coast, warns 'pirates to abandon'
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Indian naval warship INS Chennai has reached the harbour hijacked vessel MV Lila Norfolk off Somalia coast. The Indian warship has launched its helicopter and issued warning to pirates to abandon the hijacked vessel. The Indian crew on board are safe and Marine Commandos MARCOS are ready for operations, ANI reported.

The Indian navy has deployed a ship and a patrol aircraft in the Arabian Sea following a hijacking attempt onboard a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, it said Friday.

The vessel sent a message on the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations portal indicating that it was boarded by five to six unknown armed people on Thursday evening, the navy said in a statement.

The navy diverted a ship deployed for maritime security operations to assist the vessel, the statement said. It did not identify the vessel, but media reports said it was the MV Lila Norfolk.

Ambrey, a maritime intelligence firm, said the bulk carrier started to drift 670 kilometers (420 miles) east of Hafun, Somalia, and said its crew included 15 Indian nationals.

A patrol aircraft overflew the vessel early Friday and established contact with the crew and ascertained that they were safe, the navy said. The aircraft is continuing to monitor the carrier's movements and the naval ship is traveling to the vessel to assist.

Commander Mehul Karnik, a navy spokesperson, said the crew members said they were in their strong room and were operating the vessel from there.

The situation is being closely monitored in coordination with other agencies in the area, the navy added.

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Cargo ship with 15 Indians onboard hijacked off Somalia, Navy deploys warship
Indian naval warship reaches hijacked cargo ship with 15 Indians off Somalia coast, warns 'pirates to abandon'

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the assault. There have been growing concerns about shipping in the region following attacks by Yemeni Houthi rebels.

Source: Mint

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