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The Indian Navy swiftly assisted a Panama-flagged crude oil tanker with 30 crew members including 22 Indians after the vessel came under missile attack from Houthi militants. Indian Navy’s destroyer INS Kochi responded following the attack on the vessel, MV Andromeda Star, on April 26, officials said, adding all the crew members are safe.

The US Central Command said Iranian-backed Houthi militants launched three anti-ship ballistic missiles from Yemen into the Red Sea in the vicinity of merchant vessel Maisha and MV Andromeda Star.

MV Andromeda Star is a Panaman-flagged and Seychelles-operated vessel.

The vessel reported minor damage, the US Central Command said.

“A mission deployed Indian Naval destroyer INS Kochi responded to a maritime security incident involving the attack on Panama-flagged crude oil tanker MV Andromeda Star on April 26,” the Indian Navy said.

The vessel was intercepted by the Indian Navy ship and an aerial recce involving a helicopter operation was undertaken to assess the situation, it said.

An Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team of the Navy was also deployed to carry out “residual risk assessment”, the Navy said in a statement.

“A total of 30 crew including 22 Indian nationals are reported to be safe and the vessel is continuing its scheduled transit to the next port,” it said.

“The swift action of the Indian Navy ship reiterates the commitment and resolve of the Indian Navy in safeguarding the seafarers plying through the region,” it added.

The fresh incident comes amid growing global concerns over attacks on various commercial vessels in the Red Sea by the Houthi militants.

In the last few weeks, the Indian Navy extended assistance to a number of merchant vessels in the Western Indian Ocean following attacks on them.