Published: Tue, April 11, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

China navy says it foiled pirate attack on ship off Somalia

China navy says it foiled pirate attack on ship off Somalia

OS 35, a bulk carrier, was attacked by pirates last night and the Indian Navy deployed two warships after getting a distress call from the hijacked ship, said The Times of India report.

"Under the cover of helicopters, special force members of the navy boarded the ship and rescued 19 (Filipino) crew members on broad".

"Emboldened by the Indian Navy's helicopter cover, and on receiving an all-clear signal that no pirates were visible on the upper decks, some crew members gradually emerged from the strong room in the morning and carried out a search of the vessel".

China has edited out India's role in rescuing a cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, claiming full credit for delivering the ship to safety.

On Sunday sailors from the Indian, Pakistani and Chinese navies freed the crew of a Tuvalu-registered vessel which had been boarded by pirates.

The Al Kausar vessel was seized earlier this month, part of a sudden string of attacks by Somali pirates after years without a reported incident.

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John Steed of aid group Oceans Beyond Piracy said the ship was sailing under navy escort to its next port.

The captain of the merchant vessel profusely thanked the Indian naval ships for their response and for providing air cover.

It said the crew had taken refuge in the ship's strong room, know as the citadel, once they learnt they were under attack in line with established safe shipping operating procedures.

Four naval warships, INS Mumbai, Tarkash, Trishul and Aditya, were passing through the Gulf of Aden for a mission in the Mediterranean Sea when the alert was sounded late night on Saturday.

Tensions have been soaring between New Delhi and Beijing over Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama's ongoing visit to the border state of Arunachal Pradesh, with China saying New Delhi's move had severely damaged Sino-India ties.

We have the boat and two of the crew members but eight other members of the crew are still missing, said Abdulahi Ahmed Ali, district commissioner for the pirate-hub region of Hobyo. "It's been proven that 19 Filipino crewmembers are secure", Indian Navy representative Capt N E Sharma said.

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