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Indian Navy rescues 19 Pakistani, 17 Iranian sailors from Somali pirates

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NEW DEHI:An Indian Navy warship has rescued 19 Pakistani nationals and 17 Iranian nationals after their fishing vessel was hijacked by pirates off the east coast of Somalia.

It was the second rescue operation carried out in the region by the Indian Navy in the space of just 36 hours, the navy said in a statement.

Indian warship INS Sumitra freed the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel FV Al Naeemi from 11 pirates, who had taken the Pakistani crew members hostage, on Monday.

The vessel was intercepted on Monday and the members of INS Sumitra used “coercive posturing” and deployment of boats to compel the pirates to release both the crew and the vessel, a navy spokesperson said on X, formerly Twitter.

INS Sumitra Carries out 2nd Successful Anti Piracy Ops – Rescuing 19 Crew members and Vessel from Somali Pirates

Pictures released by the Indian Navy showed pirates armed with guns holding positions on the vessel while Pakistani crew members were still held hostage.

Another picture showed the pirates sitting in a line on the deck of the ship following their capture, as Indian Navy personnel stood behind them.

INS Sumitra Carries out 2nd Successful Anti Piracy Ops – Rescuing 19 Crew members and Vessel from Somali Pirates

The second rescue mission comes a day after INS Sumitra responded to an SOS call by another Iranian-flagged fishing vessel, FV Iman, also hijacked by Somali pirates.

The vessel rescued 17 Iranian nationals in the early hours of Monday, a day after it was hijacked off the coast of the East of Somalia and the Gulf of Aden.

“INS Sumitra, over the course of less than 36 hours, through swift, persistent and relentless efforts has rescued two hijacked Fishing Vessels along with 36 crew (17 Iranian and 19 Pakistani) in Southern Arabian Sea approximately 850 nm West of Kochi,” the navy said in a statement.