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India rescues hijacked Iranian fishing vessel, frees Pakistani crew

The Arabian Sea
The Arabian Sea

The Indian navy said it had freed the 23-strong crew of an Iranian fishing vessel that was seized by armed pirates off Somalia.

The Al-Kambar 786 was southwest of the Yemeni island of Socotra, in the Arabian Sea, on March 28 when it was reported to have been boarded by nine pirates, according to a naval statement Friday.

The vessel was intercepted by the navy's INS Sumedha and INS Trishul, leading to "over 12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures" forcing the pirates to surrender, the statement said.

The nine pirates are being brought to India under the domestic law against piracy on the high seas, the navy said in a separate statement Saturday.

The fishing vessel's crew of 23 Pakistani nationals were safe and received medical checks before being cleared to continue with fishing activities, the statement said.

Piracy incidents east of the Red Sea have resurfaced for the first time in nearly a decade.

Taking advantage of Western forces' focus on protecting shipping from attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi militants, pirates have made or attempted more than 20 hijackings since November, driving up insurance and security costs and adding to a crisis for global shipping companies.

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