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Dutch navy arrests Somali pirates

3 December 09 11:12 GMT

The Dutch navy has arrested 13 Somali pirates who attempted to hijack a cargo ship south of Oman.

The EU anti-piracy task force Navfor says the cargo ship - called MV BBC Togo - had barbed wire defences and held off an attack by two fast skiffs.

The Dutch warship Evertsen later found a dhow with two skiffs fitting the description in the area.

A boarding team arrested the pirates, seizing machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades, ladders and grappling hooks.

The pirates may be handed over to Kenya or the Seychelles for prosecution, says the Dutch defence ministry.

The attack on the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged cargo ship happened 150 nautical miles (275km) south of Salalah in Oman.

Pirate attacks have been common off the Somali coast and international navies have been deployed to counter them.

Navfor is one of several international naval forces patrolling the seas off Somalia to try to prevent the hijacking of ships using the vital sea routes. Nato and the US also lead task forces.

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