NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian police say they have detained two Italians for allegedly shooting two Indian fishermen to death off southern Kerala state.
Police say the suspects were brought ashore Sunday from their cargo vessel, the Enrica Lexie. They have been placed in custody for further questioning on nearby Wellington island.
The two Italians were part of a six-member security team, and are suspected of firing Wednesday on an Indian fishing boat they mistook for a pirate ship. Two Indian fishermen were killed instantly.
Piracy has emerged as a major threat to merchant ships in the Indian Ocean and Arabian Sea, with Somalia-based pirates hijacking ships and crew for ransom.
Several countries, including India, allow ship owners to deploy armed security guards on ships.