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The Indian Navy rescues the MV RUEN in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, March 16, 2024. Photo courtesy Indian Navy

The Indian Navy rescues the MV RUEN in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia, March 16, 2024. Photo courtesy Indian Navy

EU Naval Forces Capture Six Suspected Pirates in the Gulf of Aden

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 2337
May 10, 2024

A product tanker was targeted by a suspected pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden on Friday, leading to the apprehension of six individuals by the European Union Naval Force (EUNAVFOR).

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reported the vessel had been approached by a small craft carrying 5-6 armed individuals with ladders.

The ship’s Master reported that the vessel implemented self-protection measures when approached. The individuals on the small craft opened fire, leading the vessel’s Armed Security Team to return fire, causing the small craft to abort its approach.

EUNAVFOR’s Operation ATALANTA confirmed the suspicious approach on the Marshall Islands-flagged Chrystal Arctic, while located approximately 100 nautical miles north of Bosaso, Somalia. The vessel and its crew are reported to be safe following the attack.

After the vessel’s private security team repelled the attack, a nearby ATALANTA warship arrived at the scene and took the six suspected pirates into custody, some of whom required treatment for varying degrees of injuries.

EUNAVFOR is currently conducting an investigation into the incident, gathering evidence to further assess the situation.

EUNAVFOR has estimated that at least two or more pirate action groups (PAGs) could be operating off the Somali coast following a string of recent dhow hijackings. Since December, two merchant vessels have been hijacked. These include the MV Ruen, hijacked in mid-December and rescued by the Indian Navy after a three-month hostage situation, and the MV Abdullah, hijacked in March and released a month later purportedly after a ransom was paid.

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