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Indian Navy Responds Quickly to Drone Attack on Merchant Vessel in Gulf of Aden

INS Visakhapatnam, mission deployed in the Gulf of Aden, swiftly responded to a distress call.

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The Gulf of Aden has witnessed several attacks on commercial vessels, the latest being MV Genco Picardy. The Marshall Island-flagged cargo vessel, MV Genco Picardy, which had 22 crew members, including nine Indians, came under a drone strike and sent distress calls. The Indian Navy swiftly responded to the attack, officials said.

Indian Navy on Thursday, 18 January, said, “INS Visakhapatnam, mission deployed in the Gulf of Aden for anti-piracy operations, swiftly responded to a distress call by Marshall Island flagged MV Genco Picardy following a drone attack at 2311 hrs on 17 Jan 24.”

The Indian Navy's "mission deployed" guided missile destroyer INS Visakhapatnam responded to the attack within an hour of receiving a distress call from the vessel Genco Picardy, they said.

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There were no casualties reported. The vessel was headed to the next port of call.

“Indian Naval EOD specialists from INS Visakhapatnam boarded the vessel in the early hours of 18 Jan 24 to inspect the damaged area. EOD specialists, after a thorough inspection, have rendered the area safe for further transit. The vessel is proceeding to the next port of call,” the statement added.

Since the conflict between Israel and Hamas began on October 7, Houthis have been carrying out drone and missile attacks in the Red Sea, in support of Palestinians under Israeli siege in the Gaza Strip, forcing Israel-linked commercial ships to change course and take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa, Reuters reported.

At the beginning of the week, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar was on a 2-day visit to Iran and met his counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Tehran, where he did bring about the concerns of the Iran-backed Houthis attacking ships in the Red Sea.

“This is a matter of grave concern to the international community. Obviously, it also has a direct bearing on India’s energy and economic interests,” Jaishankar told reporters.

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