India mulls armed guards on ships

08:41, July 08, 2011      

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India is mulling to allow the country's shipping firms to deploy armed security guards in their vessels passing through the piracy-infested zone on high seas, said officials on Thursday.

"We will soon issue the order specifying the parameter for security agencies, who could supply trained guards. Ex-armymen are likely to be preferred for the job," a senior government official was quoted by India newspaper The Times as saying.

The official said that in all probability, the deployment of armed guards is needed only in critical stretches. "There are several issues since the guards will operate on high seas. We ought to have provisions for secured use and protection of the weapons," he added.

Indian ships have on many occasions became victims of Somali pirates operating in the Gulf of Aden.

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