A Danish warship opened fire on a pirate mother ship off the coast of Somalia, killing two hostages and arresting 17 suspects, according to an announcement Tuesday by the Royal Danish Navy.
Danish ship HDMS Absalon had been following the hijacked vessel for several days,Navy spokesman Kenneth Nielsen said. The cargo ship had been used as a mothership from which pirates sailed out in smaller boats to attack other vessels.It was not clear that the pirates had any idea how to navigate the Iranian vessel which they had been using as a mother ship.
"They were therefore using the crew as sort of slaves," said Kenneth Nielson, pointing out that the pirates had not demanded ransom for the Iranian and Pakistani crew members and had not tried to enrich themselves "on the hostage-taking itself." However, two other hostages, one Iranian and one Pakistani, were killed in the rescue bid.