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Learning English - Words in the News
19 November, 2008 - Published 15:20 GMT
India's navy hits Somali pirates
Indian naval ship INS Tabar

The Indian navy says it has sunk a pirate vessel which one of its warships encountered north of the Somali coast. India's navy is patrolling the waters as part of the international effort to try to deter attacks by pirates on commercial shipping. Damian Grammaticas has more:

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The Indian navy is describing the boat it has sunk as a pirate mother ship. It says the Indian naval ship INS Tabar was on patrol in the Gulf of Aden late on Tuesday evening when it encountered what it believed was a pirate ship with two speedboats in tow.

The Indian navy demanded the ship stop for investigation. The navy says the pirates on board were armed with guns and rocket propelled grenade launchers, they threatened to blow up the Indian warship and then fired on it. The Indians say they responded.

There was an explosion on the pirate vessel which sank. Some pirates tried to escape on two speedboats. The Indians gave chase and found one speedboat abandoned. The second vanished into the night.

Damian Grammaticas, BBC News, Delhi

Listen to the words

a robber at sea

mother ship
a ship that provides services and supplies for a number of other ships; a base

came close to

in tow
following/accompanying it (by being pulled along using a chain or rope)

on board
on the ship

rocket propelled grenade launchers
hand-held, shoulder-launched anti-tank or anti-personnel weapons capable of firing a rocket that has an explosive warhead

to blow up
to destroy by explosion

gave chase
followed (in an attempt to catch)

left behind

escaped, disappeared

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