Danish special forces free ship captured by pirates

The Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya — An EU naval spokesman says Danish special forces have recaptured a ship taken over by armed Somali pirates and freed the 25 crew on board.

Somali pirates had just hours earlier captured the bulk carrier Ariella in the early hours of Friday February 5 2010, Lloyds of London reported on its web site.

The capture of the Ariella was earlier confirmed by the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Cmdr. John Harbour EU NAFOR HQ said the incident marks the first time a warship has intervened once pirates have boarded a vessel.

Harbour says the Antigua and Barbuda-flagged Ariella sent out a distress signal early Friday.

Special forces approached the vessel in inflatable dinghies that launched from a nearby Danish warship.

Harbour says the forces scaled the side of the ship and freed the 25 crew, who had locked themselves in a secure room. The forces continue to search the vessel for the pirates.

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