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Indian Navy Warship responds to SOS by Bangladeshi ship seized by pirates

Staff Reporter:

The Indian Navy has swiftly responded to an SOS from a Bangladesh-flagged bulk carrier seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia earlier this week. The pirates have taken hostage the vessel’s 23-member crew, according to a statement released by the Navy on Friday.

The MV Abdullah was en route from Mozambique’s capital, Maputo, to the United Arab Emirates, carrying a cargo of 55,000 tonnes of coal when it came under attack around midday on Tuesday, according to the company’s statement, reports NDTV.

“On receipt of intimation, the Long-Range Maritime Patrol (LRMP) aircraft was immediately deployed & on locating the MV (Abdullah) in the evening of 12 March, attempted to establish communication to ascertain status of ship’s crew members. However, no response was received from the ship,” said the Indian Navy.

“The Mission Deployed warship on Maritime Security Operations, which had also been diverted, intercepted the hijacked MV on the morning of 14 March. The safety of the MV’s crew (all Bangladesh nationals) held hostage by the armed pirates was ascertained and the Indian Navy warship continued to maintain in close vicinity of the MV till its arrival in the territorial waters of Somalia,” it added.

Hijackings off Somalia since December have fuelled concerns about a resurgence of Indian Ocean raids by opportunistic pirates, coming on top of a separate surge in attacks launched by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

“A group of 15-20 Somali pirates hijacked the ship,” said Meherul Karim, chief executive officer of Kabir Steel Re-Rolling Mills, which owns the MV Abdullah vessel.

Houthi militia, who control a part of Yemen, have launched scores of drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden targeting what they deem to be Israeli-linked vessels in response to Israel’s war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas in Gaza.

International naval forces have been diverted north from the Gulf of Aden into the Red Sea, sparking fears that pirates will exploit the security gap.

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