The Spanish navy arrested two pirates yesterday from a Somali gang which hijacked a Spanish tuna-fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean last week, state radio RNE said.
Spain dispatched the naval vessel “Canarias” after discovering that the “Alakrana”, with 36 crew on board, had been captured while fishing off the coast of Somalia.
General Jaime Dominguez said a navy helicopter intercepted a skiff in which two of the pirates were trying to make their way ashore from the “Alakrana”, which was anchored 135 nautical miles off the Somali coast.
“During the arrest, and as a consequence of a threatening response by one of the pirates, the latter was lightly wounded,” Dominguez told RNE.
“We will not do anything that might put the wellbeing of the fishermen at risk,” he added.
RNE added that High Court Judge Baltasar Garzon had charged the two men with terrorism and kidnapping.
Somali pirates take Spanish boat: radio
Somali pirates have hijacked a Spanish fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, Spain’s La Ser radio said.
The “Alacrana” operates out of a port in the Basque Country in northern Spain, La Ser said.
A foreign ministry spokesperson could not immediately confirm the report, but the same boat featured in Spanish media reports last week when the captain described how bad weather had helped his vessel escape a pirate attack.
Gangs from Somalia, some made up of former fishermen angered by the presence of foreign boats in their waters have made tens of millions of dollars in ransoms by targeting shipping lanes linking Europe to Asia. Attacks have continued despite patrols by foreign navies off the lawless Horn of Africa state.
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