A Spanish warship has stopped a pirate attack in the Gulf of Aden and captured seven suspects. The European Union's anti-piracy force said Tuesday that seven pirates in a small boat fired on a Norwegian chemical tanker.
Crew members on the tanker, the MV Bow Saga, called for help and used water hoses to prevent the pirates from boarding. A helicopter from the Spanish warship was able to intervene minutes after the attack was reported. The pirates attempted to flee, but were caught.
The EU force said weapons were found on the boat and they detained the seven men on board. EU officials say they will consider prosecuting the suspects.
A day earlier, Somali pirates hijacked a Panamanian-flagged cargo ship in the Gulf of Aden.
A Saudi newspaper reports an insurance company has agreed to pay Somali pirates $20 million to release another ship, an oil tanker, and its 14-member crew that has been held for five months. Somali pirates have hijacked dozens of ships over the last few years, taking in tens of millions of dollars in ransom payments from ship owners.
Hijackings have continued this year despite patrols off Somalia's coast by warships from the United States, European Union, NATO and China. Somalia's central government is fighting an Islamist insurgency, but lacks the resources to combat piracy off its shores.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP.