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Indian Navy foils hijack bid of cargo ship in Arabian Sea

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New Delhi: The Indian Navy has foiled an attempt to hijack a cargo vessel ‘MV Lila Norfolk’ with 15 Indians on board in the Arabian Sea.

The ship bearing the flag of Liberia was hijacked close to the coast of Somalia on Thursday evening.

According to an official statement, the hijacked vessel had sent a message on United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations.(UKMTO) portal indicating boarding by approximately five to six unknown armed personnel on January 4 evening.

After receiving the message, the Indian Navy launched a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and diverted INS Chennai deployed for maritime security operations to assist the vessel.

The aircraft overflew the vessel early Friday morning and established contact with it, ascertaining the safety of the crew.

The statement said the Naval aircraft was continuously monitoring the movement and INS Chennai was closing on the vessel to render assistance.

The overall situation is being closely monitored, in coordination with other agencies/ MNF in the area.

The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of merchant shipping in the region along with international partners and friendly foreign countries, the statement added.

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