Pirates seize Belgian ship off Aden

Vessel issues double distress call as pirates take crew hostage.

    Dutch Nato soldiers captured seven pirates in a rescue operation but freed them for legal reasons [Reuters]

    Peter Martens, also from the crisis management centre, said the Belgian authorities were trying to establish contact with the ship through diplomatic and military contacts and that they would "find out more in the coming hours hopefully".

    Alexandre Fernandez, a Nato conmmander travelling with a fleet patrolling the Gulf of Aden, told Al Jazeera that the ship was hijacked at night.

    "We know that the ship has 10 crew members - two Belgians, one Dutch, three Filipinos and four Croatians," he said.

    The 1,850-tonne Pompei, belonging to the Jan de Nul group, has accommodation for 19 people.

    It is used for installation of rock protection on offshore pipelines or for underwater rockberm construction, according to the company website.

    Earlier, the Dutch navy embarked on a rescue operation that freed 20 Yemenis who had been held for more than a week.

    Seven pirates, who surrendered without exchanging fire, were captured but were later freed by the navy for legal reasons.

    Fernandes said that Nato did not have jurisdiction to prosecute pirates.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Interactive: Take a tour through divided Jerusalem

    Take a tour through East and West Jerusalem to see the difference in quality of life for Israelis and Palestinians.

    Stories from the sex trade

    Stories from the sex trade

    Dutch sex workers, pimps and johns share their stories.

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    Inside the world of India's booming fertility industry

    As the stigma associated with being childless persists, some elderly women in India risk it all to become mothers.