Friday, October 17, 2008

Somalia: Indian Navy to guard Indian ships against pirates

The Indian navy is joining the anti-pirate parade of warships in the Gulf of Aden, as set out here:
In the wake of several pirate attacks on merchant vessels being reported along the African coast recently, India on Thursday decided to send its warships "immediately" to the Gulf of Aden for patrolling and to escort container vessels flying the Indian Tricolour.

"The government today approved deployment of Indian Naval warship in Gulf Aden to patrol the normal route followed by Indian flagships during passage between Salalah in Oman and Aden in Yemen," a Defence Ministry spokesperson announced in New Delhi.

"The patrolling is commencing immediately," he said, but in the same vein claimed the ship was yet to sail from the Indian shores to Gulf of Aden along the Horn of Africa.

Initially, India would deploy only one of its warships in the region but it could be increased later on a need basis, the spokesperson said.

The government's decision comes close on the heels of Somalian pirates hijacking a Japanese-owned merchant vessel MV Stolt Valor with 18 Indians among the 22 sailors on board on August 15 this year.

It's going to get crowded with warships. Who'd have thought?

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