News / Africa

Danish Navy Blows Up Suspected Pirate Boat

The Danish navy says it has sunk a suspected Somali pirate boat in the Gulf of Aden.

Spokesman Kenneth Nielsen said Wednesday that the warship Esbern Snare intercepted a suspicious boat Tuesday, confiscated weapons and fuel, and detained six suspected pirates.  The Danes then used explosives to mine and sink the boat.

The suspected pirates were later released since officials said no crime had been committed.

Nielson said the vessel was a "mother ship," which carries speedboats that are used in pirate attacks.  The Danish navy ship is part of NATO's anti-piracy operation in the region.

Danish Navy Blows Up Suspected Pirate Boat
Danish Navy Blows Up Suspected Pirate Boat

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars hijacking ships for ransom in recent years.  The European Union's anti-piracy force says the pirates are holding 19 ships and more than 420 hostages.

Earlier Wednesday, the European Union's anti-piracy force said pirates attacked but failed to hijack a French-flagged ship off the coast of Tanzania.

The EU naval force says pirates boarded the liquified petroleum gas carrier Maido but were unable to get control of the crew, which locked themselves in the ship's "citadel," also known as a safe room.

It says pirates eventually abandoned the ship, and that the 14 crewmembers are reported to be safe.

Ships traveling near Somalia have increasingly taken measures to protect themselves against pirate attacks.  Some ships carry armed guards, while others have safe rooms, where crews can lock out pirates and shut off the ship's engines.

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

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