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Indian warship provides assistance to merchant vessel under attack in Gulf of Aden

Palau-flagged vessel MV Islander came under attack on Thursday and a crew member of the ship sustained injuries, Indian military officials said on Saturday.
Last Updated 24 February 2024, 09:20 IST

New Delhi: Indian Navy destroyer INS Kolkata has provided critical assistance to a merchant vessel after it caught fire following a suspected drone or missile attack in the Gulf of Aden, the latest in a series of such support missions in the region.

Palau-flagged vessel MV Islander came under attack on Thursday and a crew member of the ship sustained injuries, navy officials said on Saturday.

“Palau flagged MV Islander caught fire after an attack by a drone/ missile on Feb 22. Responding swiftly to the distress call, an Indian Navy's destroyer, mission deployed in the Gulf of Aden for maritime security operations, arrived in the vicinity of the vessel in the afternoon of Feb 22,” an Indian Navy spokesperson said here in a statement.

An explosive ordnance disposal team of the Indian Navy embarked the vessel and sanitised it for any residual risk following which the vessel was cleared for onward transit. A medical team also embarked the commercial ship and provided medical assistance to the injured crew member.

The fresh incident comes amid growing global concerns over attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea by Houthi militants as a counter to Israel’s strike on the Gaza strip.

With most of the nations reorienting their maritime assets towards the Red Sea to give a safe passage to the cargo traffic, there has been an increase in the piracy attempts in the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea.

Since December, the Indian Navy has extended assistance to a number of merchant vessels in the western Indian sea-board following drone attacks on them. The Indian warships also foiled a number of piracy attempts.

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(Published 24 February 2024, 09:20 IST)

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