India: Pirate 'mother ship' left in flames
India is reporting that one of its vessels has taken down a chief pirate ship off the coast of Africa. India says the battle took place late last night, and the ship is currenty on fire.
An Indian warship has exchanged fire with a pirate "mother vessel" off the hijacking-plagued Horn of Africa, leaving the ship ablaze in the Gulf of Aden, an official said Wednesday.
A file photo shows the Indian frigate Tabar, which was involved in the skirmish.
The skirmish took place Tuesday evening about 525 kilometers southwest of Oman's Salalah port when the frigate INS Tabar spotted a suspected pirate ship with two speedboats in tow, India's Defense Ministry reported.
"This vessel was similar in description to the 'Mother Vessel' mentioned in various piracy bulletins," the ministry said in a written statement.
The battle follows a recent surge in piracy off the Horn of Africa, including the weekend hijacking of a Saudi-owned supertanker by pirates based in largely lawless Somalia. See where latest hijacking took place. »
Three other vessels have been captured since then in what a London-based maritime official called a "completely unprecedented" situation.