The Indian Navy rescued 17 hostages from a hijacked ship on Saturday after a two-day, anti-piracy operation in the Arabian Sea.

All 35 pirates on board the Malta-flagged merchant ship Ruen were “successfully cornered and coerced to surrender,” Indian Navy spokesperson Vivek Madhwal said in a statement. The cargo vessel was hijacked in December off the coast of Somalia.

“Marine commandos were air dropped from a US-made special operations capable aircraft,” he said. Two Indian capital warships, drones and US-made long-range surveillance aircraft were part of the operation.

At least a dozen Indian warships now patrol the vast waters of the Arabian Sea, making it the biggest peacetime deployment in the region by the South Asian nation. 

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