NATO warships rescue 9 Pakistanis, 20 Indians held by pirates

Published: January 9, 2012
The Nato rescue is welcomed by Tehran amid heightened tensions with Washington. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

The Nato rescue is welcomed by Tehran amid heightened tensions with Washington. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

BRUSSELS: Nato warships have rescued nine Pakistani, 20 Indian and five Iranian crew members of Iranian and Indian vessels held by Somali pirates off the Horn of Africa, Nato said Monday.

The Nato operation came days after the US navy saved 13 Iranian fishermen who were held hostage by pirates for weeks in the Arabian Sea, a rescue welcomed by Tehran amid heightened tensions with Washington.

On Saturday, a Danish warship freed nine Pakistanis and five Iranians off the Somali coast after intercepting an Iranian dhow used by pirates as a mothership from which to launch attacks, the alliance said in a statement.

The pirates tried to escape to the Somali coast but stopped when Danish navy snipers fired warning shots. A search team, backed by a helicopter, then found the 14 crew members and 25 suspected pirates.

The crew members were not injured and “were given access to phone calls so they could give their relatives the good news of their release,” a Nato statement said. The dhow was then able to continue its original voyage.

The suspects have been detained aboard HDMS Absalon pending an investigation to decide if they can be prosecuted and a decision will be made “in the next few days,” the statement said.

The other rescue took place on Friday, when a US warship, the USS Carney, intercepted the Indian-flagged dhow al Qashmi off the southwestern coast of Oman.

The 20 Indian crew members were freed and the nine pirates put on a fast boat carried by the dhow and given sufficient fuel, provisions and water to return to Somalia.

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Reader Comments (11)

  • Umair
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:30PM

    whats the name of the ship from which they were rescused from?


  • positive pakistani
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:40PM

    still more indians than Pakistanis :P……


  • M omar
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:42PM

    Time to rescue afghanistan 4m nato pirates.


  • Jan 9, 2012 - 7:44PM

    Looks like the Somailans are holding quite a few people illegaly. Something must be done at massive scale to free up people. Every day your hear about people being freed from their clutches.


  • Danish
    Jan 9, 2012 - 7:47PM

    Welcom sign thanks usa now hope tehran will consider to better or by the least soft relations between us and iranRecommend

  • Zalim singh
    Jan 9, 2012 - 8:50PM

    @ M omar

    get a life bro.let Pakistan emulate a fraction of this US action.


  • Sweet Dee
    Jan 9, 2012 - 10:55PM

    @Zalim singh

    Oh? Forgot about Pakistan Navy rescuing Indians on MV Suez from Somali pirates a few months back already? Forgot about Ansar Burney (a Pakistani) paying the ransom for the Indians when the Indian Govt didn’t?

    Suffering from selective memory eh?


  • Nand
    Jan 10, 2012 - 2:44AM

    @M Omar: the 4m nato pirates are there to STOP Pak’s ambition by making Afghan another of its province.


  • Cautious
    Jan 10, 2012 - 5:12AM

    Well at least the Iranians had the class to say thanks — something that Inida or Pakistan has apparently not done.


  • MarkH
    Jan 10, 2012 - 6:51AM

    @M omar:
    Nobody is requesting your thanks for the rescue but at least keep your mouth shut if all you have is generic insults that make references that don’t even fit reality.


  • Khan Bhai
    Jan 10, 2012 - 9:20PM

    Pakistanis, Iranians and Indians together on a ship?? How is it even possible???


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