A Russian warship captured a suspected pirate vessel with 29 people on board off the coast of Somalia, Russian news agencies reported today, citing defence ministry sources.
Russia’s Admiral Panteleyev anti-submarine ship seized the vessel 15 miles (24 kilometres) off the coast of Somalia at 1212 GMT on Tuesday, the Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies reported.
“Seven Kalashnikov rifles, various pistols and an aluminium ladder were discovered during a search of the ship,” RIA Novosti quoted the source as saying.
Satellite navigation equipment and a large amount of ammunition was also seized, Reuters adds.
“This allows us to assume that this group of pirates undertook two unsuccessful attempts to seize the TF Commander tanker with a Russian crew that was travelling through this region yesterday,” RIA quoted the source as saying.
Russia is among several naval powers with warships in the area to protect one of the world’s busiest sea lanes from spate of hijackings by Somali pirates.