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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Somali Pirates: Indian Navy Prevents Ship Capture

Reported as Indian warship fights off pirates in Gulf of Aden:
An Indian warship on Tuesday prevented two merchant vessels from being hijacked by heavily armed pirates in the Gulf of Aden and escorted both ships to safety, the navy said.

Pirates on power-boats attacked Saudi Arabia-registered merchant vessel "MV Timaha," and half an hour later a second group tried to board a 38,000-tonne bulk carrier owned by India's Great Eastern Shipping Co, the navy said.

"Both the ships had crossed the Suez Canal and were a short distance away from Aden when the Saudi vessel was attacked by these boats, each carrying up to five pirates each," a top naval official told AFP.

"Our frigate patrolling the area responded to a distress call by "MV Timaha" and sent an attack helicopter carrying commandos which opened fire while the pirates were making repeated attempts to board the Saudi ship," he said.

"While all this was on, the Indian cargo ship was attacked within the next 30 minutes," said the official, who did not want to be named.

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