updated 11/2/2008 2:57:57 PM ET 2008-11-02T19:57:57

Denmark's navy says pirates opened fire on a Danish tanker in a failed attempt to commandeer the ship off Somalia's coast.

The navy says no crew members were wounded in the incident in the Gulf of Aden Sunday. The pirates disappeared by the time a Danish navy helicopter arrived.

The navy says the ship's crew took measures, including spraying water from high-pressure hoses, to prevent the pirates from taking it over.

The Gulf of Aden connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean and is one of the world's busiest waterways with around 20,000 ships passing through each year.

Somalia is caught up in an Islamic insurgency and has no functioning government, navy or coast guard to police its coast.

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