Page last updated at 20:38 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Warship's firefight with pirates

HMS Cumberland personnel preparing to board Somali pirate boat: Pic Royal Navy
HMS Cumberland personnel prepare to board the Yemeni-flagged boat

A Royal Navy warship helped rescue a Danish vessel after it was attacked by Somali pirates, the Ministry of Defence has said.

Plymouth-based HMS Cumberland and the Russian frigate Neustrashimy repelled the attempted raid in the Gulf of Aden.

The Russian Navy said the pirates fired weapons at the Danish ship and twice tried to board it before the two warships intervened.

Two suspected pirates were killed in the exchange of gunfire on Tuesday.

Boats launched by Cumberland to intercept the dhow were involved in an exchange of fire.
Ministry of Defence spokesman

HMS Cumberland is currently on a NATO-led deployment in the gulf, helping to combat piracy after a recent rise in attacks on merchant shipping in the region.

A Royal Navy spokesman said: "We can confirm that a UK warship carried out a boarding of a foreign-flagged dhow suspected of being engaged in piracy.

"The situation is ongoing."

An MoD spokesman said: "Prior to boarding, boats launched by Cumberland to intercept the dhow were involved in an exchange of fire.

"Two foreign nationals, believed to be Somali pirates, were shot and killed in self-defence.

"A Yemeni national was also found injured and later died, despite receiving emergency treatment from the ship's doctor.

"It is unclear whether his injuries were as a result of the firefight or a previous incident involving the pirates."

The spokesman said that, because the incident involved firearms, an investigation has been launched.



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