India’s defence ministry had revealed on Tuesday that the Indian navy has freed two Iranian fishing vessels that had been expropriated by Somali pirates in one day.
The INS Sumitra patrol vessel had then proceeded to free 17 Iranian crew members aboard one of the boats early on Monday before they responded to another distress call to free 19 Pakistani nationals on another boat, the ministry revealed in a statement.
The rescues arrived amidst a resurgence of Somali freebooting in the Indian Ocean since last month after years of no major attack.
Somali piracy surged around 2011, causing the world economy to lose some $7 billion a year. This was before international naval patrols and armed private guards managed to get ahold of and contain the threat.
Things had appeared to be calm until December, when the Maltese-flagged MV Ruen was hijacked.
India’s navy has been intervening in response to the several recent hijackings.
On Monday, the INS Sumitra freed the Iman fishing vessel by using “coercive posturing” before ambushing the Al Naeemi fishing vessel, which had been boarded by 11 pirates in the southern Arabian Sea, the defence ministry claimed.
Forces from the Indian Ocean archipelago nation of the Seychelles had saved about six crew members –who had been on a Sri Lankan fishing trawler– from suspected Somali pirates on Monday, officials alleged.