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Page last updated at 10:04 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 11:04 UK
Royal Navy blows up pirate boat

HMS Portland

The Royal Navy has stopped a suspected gang of armed pirates after a chase through the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. HMS Portland detected the ship while patrolling the Gulf of Aden.

Helicopter from HMS Portland

Two suspicious skiffs were then stopped and boarded. The multi-national patrol group found grappling hooks, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), machine guns and ammunition on board.

Sailors from HMS Portland

Despite the dodgy cargo, the 10 pirates were released because of "insufficient evidence". But the patrol team admitted they weren't the kind of items found on an "innocent fishing vessel".

Pirate boat being shot at

HMS Portland then destroyed one boat, letting the pirates disappear on the other skiff. The Gulf of Aden is one of the world's most important shipping lanes, crossed by 20,000 ships a year.

Pirate boat is blown up

The captured pirate boat then exploded before sinking. Commander Tim Henry said: "HMS Portland has once again demonstrated the Royal Navy's commitment to keeping the sea lanes open."

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