Brussels: The crew of a Libyan cargo ship
seized back control from Somali pirates on Wednesday after fighting
in which some of their captors are believed to have died and a
crew member was wounded, the EU said.
"The hijacked Libyan-owned merchant vessel RIM reported
that the crew had successfully retaken control of the ship.
One of the crew members was seriously injured during the
incident," a spokesman for the EU anti-piracy NAVFOR naval
"It is believed that some of the pirates were killed
during the incident; the ship is now under the control of the
crew," added NAVFOR, which sent a warship to offer help and
administer medical aid to the survivors.
The mainly Syrian crew of 10 had been taken captive in
February and their assailants were demanding three million
dollars in ransom for their safe return.
The 4,800-tonne vessel, owned by Libya`s White Sea
Shipping, was attacked in the northwestern Gulf of Aden, south
of the Yemeni coast.
It had set off from Romania with a crew of nine Syrians
and a Romanian with an unspecified cargo. It was unclear who
had been injured.
After it was captured, the pirates had taken the vessel
to an area off the town of Laasgoray, on the border between
Somalia`s breakaway regions of Somaliland and Puntland.
The crew turned the tables on their captors as the ship
was southeast of Garacad, off Somalia`s northern coastline,
Somali pirates have become a chronic hazard for shipping
in the region. They hijack vessels exclusively for ransom
payments, which are regularly made.
The news of the successful action by the RIM`s crew came
shortly after NAVFOR reported that assailants armed with
rocket-propelled grenades hijacked a Panama-flagged cargo ship
in the Gulf of Aden with 24 crew from Bangladesh, Ghana, Egypt
and Pakistan, also today.