Kuala Lumpur, Oct 21: Armed pirates in speedboats have hijacked an Indian vessel with 13 crew members off the northern coast of Somalia, a maritime official said.
The cargo-laden vessel was en-route to Somalia from Asia when it was seized over the weekend, said Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, on Saturday. The bureau only received a distress report from a third party on Monday, Oct 20 and is still verifying the time and date of the attack, he said.
No further details were immediately available.
The Indian Navy has already deployed warships in the Gulf of Aden to ensure safety of Indian sailors who could be deployed there in future.
The move was seen as a response to the big problems of Somalian pirates and perhaps a response to families of the 18 Indians on-board the hijacked ship, Stolt Valor.
The warship carries a helicopter and marine commandos. The Government also hinted that any armed action to protect Indian sailors would be taken only in consultation with other navies operating in the region.