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India rescues Iranian fishing ship hijacked off Somalia

The Indian navy says it has freed the 23-strong crew of an Iranian fishing vessel which was seized by armed pirates off Somalia.

The Al-Kambar 786 was southwest of the Yemeni island of Socotra, in the Arabian Sea, on March 28 when it was reported to have been boarded by nine pirates, according to a naval statement on Friday.

The vessel was intercepted by the navy's INS Sumedha and INS Trishul, leading to more than "12 hours of intense coercive tactical measures" forcing the pirates to surrender, the statement said.

The nine pirates are being brought to India under the domestic law against piracy on the high seas, the navy said in a separate statement on Saturday.

The fishing vessel's crew of 23 Pakistani citizens were safe and received medical checks before being cleared to continue with fishing activities, the statement said.

Piracy incidents east of the Red Sea have resurfaced for the first time in nearly a decade.

Taking advantage of international forces' focus on protecting shipping from attacks in the Red Sea by Yemeni Houthi militants, pirates have made or attempted more than 20 hijackings since November, driving up insurance and security costs and adding to a crisis for global shipping companies.