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NATO Stops Pirate Attack On Norwegian Ship


NATO forces have foiled an attack by Somali pirates on a Norwegian tanker in the Gulf of Aden.

NATO officials say a warship and helicopters came to the rescue of the MV Front Ardenne late Saturday after it was attacked by pirates in a small skiff.

The officials say the pirates fled but were hunted down in the dark by a Canadian ship.

Forces aboard that ship briefly detained seven gunmen. The Associated Press quotes a NATO spokesman (Lieutenant Commander Alexandre Santos Fernandes) as saying the pirates were released because they cannot be prosecuted under Canadian law.

On Saturday, Somali pirates hijacked a Belgian vessel (the Pompei) with 10 crew members as it traveled south to the Seychelles islands.

In another incident, Dutch forces with NATO rescued 20 Yemeni hostages that pirates had been holding on a pirate "mother ship."

The Dutch forces briefly detained the pirates in the Gulf of Aden after responding to a distress call from a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker.

Nearly a dozen countries are running naval patrols off Somalia to combat pirates who have hijacked more than 60 ships since the start of 2008.

In some cases, the pirates have received ransom payments of more than a million dollars for releasing a ship.

The pirates are believed to be holding about 17 ships at the moment with about 300 crew members.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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