Indian Navy says its anti-pirates operation will continue

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Somali pirates
Mumbai, April 17: Indian Navy said that it would continue with its ongoing operation to prevent pirate attacks and asserted that the release of some of the Indians held hostage has no bearing on the fate of the arrested Somali pirates here.

"We have nothing to do with swapping of Indian hostages in Somalia with pirates placed under arrest in Mumbai," Navy PRO Capt Manohar Nambiar said.

"We will continue our ongoing anti-pirates operation to ensure smooth traffic in the sea. No orders have been issued to reduce patrolling in Indian waters following reported demand made by the pirates in Somalia calling for swapping of Indian hostages with arrested pirates," he said.

Somalian pirates who took a multi-million dollar ransom from MT Asphalt Venture has released eight of the 15 Indian crew members after holding them hostage for over six months.

As per negotiations reportedly held between the shipping company and the pirates, the latter were supposed to release all the Indian crew members on the hijacked ship.

But the Somali pirates now want Indian authorities to release all their colleagues placed under arrest in Mumbai before freeing the remaining Indians.

PTI

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