[QODLink]
Africa
S Korea rescues hijacked ship crew
All 21 crew members aboard a hijacked ship freed and eight Somali pirates killed in navy operation.
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2011 08:02 GMT
South Korean navy personnel secure a boat after seizing it from the pirates [REUTERS]

South Korea's navy has rescued all crew members aboard a South Korean chemical ship hijacked by
Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, President Lee Myung-bak said.

Navy commandos stormed the hijacked vessel on Friday, killing eight pirates and capturing five during the rescue mission, military officials said at a separate briefing.

"Our soldiers rescued all of 21 crew aboard Samho Jewelry, including eight Koreans, who were hijacked by Somalia pirates," President Lee told reporters.

The vessel, en route to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates, was seized at the weekend. Aboard was a crew of eight Koreans, 11 Myanmar nationals and two Indonesians.

All were rescued alive, although a South Korean skipper of the chemical freighter suffered a non-critical gunshot wound to his stomach during the raid.

Firefight

The firefight left several pirates missing and believed killed although their bodies have not been found, spokesmen said. Three South Korean commandos were slightly hurt.

Seoul ordered a destroyer on patrol in the Gulf of Aden to give chase after reports of the vessel being hijacked. President Lee ordered "all possible measures" to save the crew.

Commando's chased the hijacked ship for days, and started a rescue attempt before dawn on Friday. The mission lasted five hours.

This hijacking came two months after an oil supertanker belonging to the same firm was freed after seven months in captivity, the government and local media said.

The pirates said they had received a record ransom of $9.5m for the release of the supertanker.

According to the London-based International Maritime Bureau, which monitors maritime crime, there have already been 22 incidents reported off the coast of Somalia in 2011, including four hijackings.

Currently, 31 vessels are being held by Somali pirates, the Bureau reported.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Venezuela's president lacks the charisma and cult of personality maintained by the late Hugo Chavez.
Despite the Geneva deal, anti-government protesters in Ukraine's eastern regions don't intend to leave any time soon.
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
join our mailing list