Action against Somali pirates under international law : Pranab

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New Delhi, Nov 26 (UNI) India today defended the destruction by INS Tabar of a trawler commandeered by Somalian pirates in the Gulf of Aden on November 18, saying the action was taken under international law.

The statement by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee came even as Thailand gave a note verbale to the External Affairs Ministry here seeking more information on the incident.

Mr Mukherjee said at a press conference here this evening after talks with Pakistan Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi that the sinking of the ship was ''perfectly within the international law.'' He said in response to a question that the ship was under the control of pirates and if the pirates did not surrender, the action was perfectly within the right of international law.

He said piracy had become a regular practice in some parts and the international community had to address these concerns.

Meanwhile, Thailand today sought more information from India on the incident and gave a note verbale to the External Affairs Ministry.

A senior official of the External Affairs Ministry said Indian Ambassdor in Bangkok, Latha Reddy, had gone to the Thailand Foreign Ministry in connection with the upcoming East Asia Summit in the Thai capital.

Mrs Reddy was told that one of the Thai fishing trawlers had ''suffered damages'' in the INS Tabar action against Somalian pirates.

She was told that they would be issuing a note verbale on seeking more information on the incident.

Media reports today said the INS Tabar had actually sunk a Thai fishing vessel and not a pirate mothership on November 18, as had been claimed.

However, the Indian Navy says they had retaliated only after shots were fired from the vessel.

UNI RB PD RN2318

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