Armed men hijack another ship: INS Chennai closely following MV Lila Norfolk, communication with mostly Indian crew established; What we know so far | India News

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NEW DELHI: The Navy’s stealth guided missile destroyer INS Chennai is closely following a hijacked Liberian-flagged vessel in the Arabian Sea, and aircraft are closely monitoring the situation.
At least 15 Indian crew members are on board MV Lila Norfolk, which was hijacked near Somalia’s coast on Thursday.
What we know so far:
Crew contacted, closely monitoring situation: Navy
A Navy spokesperson told reporters that a Naval aircraft is monitoring the movement of the ship and INS Chennai is closing in on the vessel to render assistance.”The overall situation is being closely monitored, in coordination with other agencies in the area,” he said.
INS Chennai was diverted to assist the vessel and a naval aircraft overflew the hijacked vessel on Friday and had established contact with the crew, said the Navy.

“The Indian Navy remains committed to ensuring safety of merchant shipping in the region along with international partners and friendly foreign countries,” the spokesperson added.
5-6 armed men boarded ship
MV Lila Norfolk sent a message on the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations portal — a British military organisation that tracks movements of various vessels in strategic waterways — saying five to six unknown armed personnel had boarded on the evening of January 4, the Indian Navy said in a statement.
The merchant vessel was hijacked by the pirates 300 nautical miles east of Somalia. It was sailing from Port Du Aco (Brazil) and was bound for Khalifa Bin Salman in Bahrain.
Indian Navy on high alert
The Indian Navy has increased its surveillance of the Arabian Sea after a recent spate of attacks in the region.
Earlier this week, the Navy said it had investigated a large number of fishing vessels and boarded boats of interest in the north and central Arabian Sea.
“India plays the role of a net security provider in the entire Indian Ocean region. We will ensure that maritime trade in this region rises from the sea to the heights of the sky,” defence minister Rajnath Singh said last month of the increased surveillance in the region.
(With inputs from agencies)

Watch MV LILA NORFOLK’ hijacked off Somalia’s coast with 15 Indian crew members aboard


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