[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
Malaysia navy frees hijacked tanker
Navy commandos overcome Somali pirates on board a chemical tanker in the Gulf of Aden, rescuing 23 crew members.
Last Modified: 22 Jan 2011 06:15 GMT

The reach of pirates has extended more than 800km off the Somali coast in recent years [AFP]

Malaysian Navy commandos have rescued a chemical tanker hijacked by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden just hours after the ship was seized.

The commandos injured three pirates, captured seven, and rescued 23 crew members on board the MT Bunga Laurel on Friday morning.

The armed pirates stormed the ship on Thursday night, and the crew responded by locking themselves in a safe room and activating a distress signal, which was picked up by the navy.

The commandos exchanged gunfire with the pirates before overcoming them, the navy said in a statement on Friday.

Possible charges

According to the New Straits Times newspaper, the Bunga Laurel was carrying oil worth $10m.

The newspaper also said that a Fennec attack helicopter had pinned down the pirates' "mothership" with machine gun fire as the commandoes boarded the Laurel.

Najib Razak, the prime minister, said he was informed of the situation and that the authorities were considering whether the pirates should be brought to Malaysia to face trial.

"I am proud of our [navy], which acted with full efficiency and demonstrated courage,'' he told a news conference.

The Bunga Laurel rescue came on the same day that South Korea staged a similar effort, freeing 21 crew members and killing eight pirates from a freighter in the Arabian Sea that had been hijacked last week.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps will be released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.