New Delhi, Nov 19 (UNI) Continuing with its anti-piracy operations on the high seas in the Gulf of Aden, India's 'INS Tabar' blew up a pirate vessel after it fired on it near Oman in the Gulf.
The pirate vessel, escorted by two speed boats, was fired at and destroyed last evening 285 nautical miles South-West of Salalah (Oman), after its movement aroused suspicion and it refused inspection by the Indian naval warship, according to the Defence Ministry.
''It continued to posture aggressively and threatened to blow our ship, when asked to be inspected, with its occupants brandishing guns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers,'' the ministry said.
Despite repeated warnings and after the vessel fired at INS Tabar, the warship responded with retaliatory fire that led to a huge explosion and set the vessel on fire, perhaps because of the explosives stored on it, it said.
However, the occupants of the two escort boats managed to flee the scene after they were chased.
While the occupants of one boat fled leaving it behind, the other boat vanished into the night's darkness, it added.
On an anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden since early this month, 'INS Tabar' has so far successfully escorted nearly 35 ships, including several foreign flagged vessels, safely in the Gulf of Aden, besides repulsing two hijacking attempts on November 11.
Indian naval ships have been patrolling the area since last month after the government decided to protect its sea-borne trade and instil confidence in the sea-faring community against lurking pirates.
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