Ehran — The Iranian Navy's 27th fleet of warships once again thwarted a fresh attempt by pirates to hijack an Iranian gas tanker off the coast of Somalia, this time across Bab el-Mandeb strait, a senior navy commander said.
Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Navy for Operations Admiral Siavash Jareh announced on Sunday that the country's naval forces managed to save an Iranian vessel carrying liquefied gas from armed pirates, as the gas carrier was crossing Bab el-Mandeb strait this morning.
According to the commander, the Iranian vessel, Bootanon, carrying a cargo of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) was taken on by eight pirate boats when it was about to enter Bab el-Mandeb strait.
But the Iranian naval forces responded to the attack with heavy gunfire and forced the pirates to escape, Jareh noted.
In recent weeks, servicemen on board Iran's 27th fleet of warships have carried out many successful anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden.
In a similar operation on October 6, Iranian forces made the pirates leave an Iranian oil tanker in the same region.
The fleet of warships is comprised of Kharg warship and Sabalan destroyer. Kharg can carry three helicopters.
Since November 2008, the Iranian navy has conducted anti-piracy missions in the Gulf of Aden and Bab el-Mandeb strait to protect the country's cargo ships and oil tankers against pirates.
Under the terms of several UN Security Council resolutions, nations can deploy warships to the Gulf of Aden and coastal waters of Somalia to protect their vessels against the pirates and, after giving notice to Somali government, enter Somali territorial in pursuit of the pirates.