Iran fishermen net Somali pirates
2010-04-11waryatv- mogadisho - Iranian fishing crew narrowly escape the clutches of Somali pirates who had made an armed attempt to hijack their vessel and arrest at least three of them.
"A group of pirates opened fire on an Iranian vessel on March 26 while it was fishing nearly a thousand miles off Somali shores," Gholam-Nabi Kouhkan, an Iranian border commander in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan, told IRNA on Sunday.
Since the pirates were heavily loaded with guns and artillery, Kouhkan continued, the captain and his crew initially surrendered, but eventually managed to catch them off guard and resume control of their ship.
"They [Somali pirates] failed to achieve their objectives due to the courage and vigilance of the 21 crew members on board, who were quick to disarm the pirates and arrest at least three of them," he said.
Kouhkan added that the detainees were brought to Iran and handed over to police officials in the southeastern port city of Chabahar.
In recent years, Somali pirates have expanded the reach of their attacks on merchant vessels and oil tankers sailing through the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden.
According to latest estimates, at least 16 ships and 240 crew members are still being held by the pirates for multimillion-dollar ransoms that have become the main source of income for the war-ravaged nation.
Somalia has been without a functioning government for nearly 20 years.