British vessel captures alleged pirates

Jan. 14, 2012 at 11:10 AM

LONDON, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- A British vessel working with the U.S. Navy captured a fishing vessel in the Indian Ocean allegedly being used by Somali pirates.

Thirteen suspected pirates were taken prisoner in the operation Friday, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Royal marines boarded the fishing boat or dhow at dawn Friday, Capt. Gerry Northwood said. Before the marines stormed the boat, a Navy helicopter fired flares over its bow.

The U.S.S. Carney had tracked the dhow Thursday night.

The operation was carried out from the RFA Fort Victoria, which is working with NATO's Operation Ocean Shield to combat piracy off the Horn of Africa. The vessel is part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, civilian-manned vessels that support the Royal Navy.

The marines found life jackets on the dhow that appear to have been taken from a ship seized by pirates. The men on the dhow also had grenade launchers and other weaponry.

"This was a well-executed operation by NATO forces to locate a known Somali pirate group that was operating in international shipping lanes of the Indian Ocean," Northwood said.

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