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Indian naval warship thwarts piracy bid in Gulf of Aden

An Indian naval warship INS Sharadha thwarted a piracy attempt on a Liberian registered merchant vessel M V Lord Mountbatten in a swift operation lasting 30 minutes by deploying armed helicopters and marine commandos in the Gulf of Aden.

Deployed for anti piracy patrols in the Gulf of Aden since April six, the naval vessel INS Sharadha swung into action immediately after the receipt of the distress message from M V Mountbatten around 230 nautical miles south west of Salalah in Oman at 16.45 hours on tuesday.

The merchant vessel in its distress message said two suspected pirate mother vessels along with seven eight skiffs were trying to enter it. INS Shardha which as 30 nautical miles to the east at that time rushed to the spot. On reaching the spot at 19.00 hours the vessel detected two dhows with their skiffs

The skiffs fled the area at high speeds on sighting the Indian warship. The commandos of the war ship boarded the helicopter which encircled the area for a few minutes. It found no fishing gear on board the dhows and the remaining skiffs also fled by that time. One automatic Kalashnikov rifle with 28 rounds of ammunition was found hidden in one of the dhows. The weapon was confiscated to prevent misuse in future.

As the dhows with skiffs fled the scene the merchant vessel M V Mountbatten proceeded with the voyage while the Indian warship resumed the patrol of the area.

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