COPENHAGEN, Denmark (MCT) — Twelve hostages held by pirates have been freed by a Danish navy vessel off the eastern coast of Somalia, officials in Copenhagen said Thursday.
The Danish navy vessel Absalon stopped a ship on Wednesday and arrested 16 presumed pirates, in addition to freeing the hostages, navy spokesman Mikael Bill told the German news agency dpa. No shots were fired during the operation. The hostages — nine Pakistani nationals and three Iranians — were reported to be in good condition.
The vessel, which had been seized by the pirates, was returned to the former hostages, who were heading for their home ports, Bill added.
The 16 suspected pirates remained on the Absalon while Danish authorities were investigating if it was possible to try them. Since December, the Absalon has been deployed as part of an international action patrolling the sea lanes off Somalia.