Our Bureau
11:39 AM, March 7, 2016

Australian Navy has seized a large number of weapons caches that includes 2000 AK-47 assault rifles 100 rocket propelled grenade launchers, 49 machine guns from a Somalia bound fishing vessel in Oman.

HMAS Darwin’s boarding team intercepted the vessel about 300 kilometres off the coast of Oman and found weapons along with spare barrels and mortar tubers hidden under fishing nets in the dhow, The Age, Australian news daily reported Monday.

"One of the key reasons HMAS Darwin is deployed to the region is to contribute to global security and counter international terrorism," Chief of Joint Operations Command, Vice Admiral David Johnston was quoted as saying by the news daily.
"The successful boarding and subsequent seizure of the weapons concealed under fishing nets highlights the need to remain vigilant in the region," he said.

The weapons were seized under United Nations sanctions which authorise interdiction on the high seas of illicit weapons destined for Somalia.

The fishing boat was headed towards the Somalia coast.

HMAS Darwin is in the region as part of a multinational effort to prevent terrorism, piracy and drug smuggling, and to secure the maritime environment in the Middle East and the north east coast of Africa.

It is the ship's seventh deployment to the area.

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