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Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Somali Pirates: Danish Navy Ship Fights Pirates, Rescues 18 Hostages

Dhow Freed by HDMS Esbern Snare (Danish Navy Photo)
Reported as Danish warship frees 18 hostages after skirmish with pirates off Somalia coast:

According to a statement released by the Danish Navy, the warship stopped and boarded a suspected pirate mother-ship on April 2. The warship's helicopter and special maritime action team were also deployed.

"Despite warning shots, the pirates opened fire on the [ special] team, following which the team, returned fire," the statement said.

HDMS Esbern Snare
Three pirates were wounded in the fight and later treated by doctors from the Esbern Snare and the Dutch warship Tromp, the statement added. No Danish soldiers were hurt.

In all, 15 suspected pirates were captured and are currently being detained on board the Esbern Snare. Their case has been transferred to Denmark's Public Prosecutor for Serious International Crime.

HNLMS Tromp (F803)
The Danish Navy said a cache of items "related to piracy" were found on board the vessel. This includes "14 grenade launchers, 9 machine guns (AK-47s), 2 large boxes of ammunition for machine guns, 5 hand grenades, 6 ladders and 3 pirate attack boats (skiffs) with powerful outboard motors."

The mother-ship was originally an Iranian fishing vessel, and the 18 rescued hostages have turned out to be its crew. They returned to their ship on Saturday, after requesting to be allowed to sail home.
Danish report here.

Apparently the pirates are being referred for possible prosecution.

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