By Krishn Kaushik

NEW DELHI (Reuters) -Indian Navy commandos have boarded a hijacked Liberian-flagged vessel within the Arabian Sea and at the moment are finishing up “sanitisation” operations, the navy stated on Friday, with out elaborating.

An Indian Navy warship intercepted the MV Lila Norfolk on Friday afternoon, lower than a day after the navy obtained information that it had been hijacked off Somalia’s coast within the North Arabian Sea.

In its newest replace on the incident, the UK Maritime Commerce Operations (UKMTO) company stated no unauthorised individuals had been discovered on board the vessel by army forces and all crew are secure and accounted for. “Vessel is continuing out of the realm,” it stated.

Not less than 15 Indian crew members had been on board the vessel, which was hijacked close to Somalia’s coast and the navy obtained details about it on Thursday night, Indian information company ANI, through which Reuters has a minority stake, reported earlier, citing army officers.

The warship INS Chennai was diverted and deployed to help the vessel, the navy stated earlier within the day, including {that a} naval plane flew over the hijacked vessel on Friday and had established contact with it.

The Indian navy has elevated its surveillance of the Arabian Sea after a latest spate of assaults within the area.

It stated earlier this week that it had investigated numerous fishing vessel and boarded vessels of curiosity within the area.

The hijacking of economic ships and tried hijackings by suspected pirates close to the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea areas resumed in December after a six-year lull. Consultants imagine it’s because naval forces led by the U.S. have diverted their consideration to the Pink Sea to thwart Houthi assaults.

Knowledge from the Indian Navy’s Data Fusion Centre – Indian Ocean Area reveals no less than three hijackings in December. The earlier such incident was reported in 2017.

“The sudden revival in ship hijacking and assaults can solely be attributed to the pirates’ willingness to make the most of the truth that the main target of anti-piracy maritime forces has largely shifted from the Gulf of Aden to the Pink Sea,” Abhijit Singh, head of the Maritime Coverage Initiative on the Observer Analysis Basis assume tank in New Delhi stated.

Earlier this week, the navy stated it had investigated numerous fishing vessels and boarded vessels of curiosity within the North and Central Arabian Sea.

“India performs the position of a web safety supplier in your complete Indian Ocean area. We are going to make sure that maritime commerce on this area rises from the ocean to the heights of the sky,” Defence Minister Rajnath Singh stated final month of the elevated surveillance within the area.

India just isn’t a part of the U.S.-led Pink Sea activity drive.

(Reporting by Krishn Kaushik and Shubham Kalia in Bengaluru; Writing by Shilpa Jamkhandikar, Enhancing by Christian Schmollinger and Michael Perry)

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