|UK MOD photo|
U.S. and British forces have freed an Italian cargo ship that had been attacked by pirates off Somalia, the Italian Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The pirates surrendered and have been arrested.UPDATE: Early BBC report:
The Montecristo was carrying a crew of 23—seven Italians, six Ukrainians and 10 Indians—when it was attacked Monday. The crew are free and safe, said a statement by the Foreign Ministry.
It said the raid had been carried out by two Navy ships, one British and one American.
The 11 pirates were apprehended, said the statement.
The UK's MoD said the British Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship Fort Victoria and a US frigate were sent to help the seized vessel.
Pirates surrendered after the two naval ships approached the Montecristo, said the MoD.
UPDATE: Latest BBC report:
British and US naval forces freed an Italian ship from Somali pirates after hostages threw an SOS message in a bottle from a porthole, Italy's defence minister has said.
Ignazio La Russa said the 23 hostages had locked themselves in the strong room of the 56,000-tonne Montecristo.
The bulk carrier had been seized 620 miles (1,000km) off Somalia on Monday.
The Royal Navy met no resistance on boarding it and detained 11 suspected pirates, UK defence officials said.