Navy Captures Pirate Ship

Monday, January 23, 2006
The U.S. Navy boarded an apparent pirate ship in the Indian Ocean and detained 26 men for questioning, the AP reported. The 16 Indians and 10 Somali men were aboard a traditional dhow that was chased and seized Saturday by the U.S. guided missile destroyer USS Winston S. Churchill, said Lt. Leslie Hull-Ryde of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain. The dhow stopped fleeing after the Churchill twice fired warning shots during the chase, which ended 54 miles off the coast of Somalia. U.S. sailors boarded the dhow and seized a cache of small arms. The dhow's crew and passengers were being questioned aboard the Churchill to determine which were pirates and which were legitimate crew members. According to the AP, sailors aboard the dhow told Navy investigators that pirates hijacked the vessel six days ago near Mogadishu and thereafter used it to stage pirate attacks on merchant ships. The Navy captured the dhow in response to a report from the International Maritime Bureau in Kuala Lumpur on Friday that said pirates had fired on the MV Delta Ranger, a Bahamian-flagged bulk carrier that was passing some 200 miles off the central eastern coast of Somalia. The Navy was still investigating the incident and would discuss with international authorities what to do with the detained men. (Source: AP)

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