Turkish commandos seize 5 pirates off Somalia

In this photo released by the Turkish military, Turkish commandos are seen with five pirates in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia.AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

Turkish commandos captured five pirates in the Gulf of Aden on Friday as part of an international mission to curb piracy off the coast of Somalia, the military said.

Navy commandos aboard the Turkish frigate TCG Gediz, part of a NATO patrol, raided the skiff after a request to block it before it could attack a ship, Brig. Gen. Metin Gurak said.

A Navy helicopter aboard a second Turkish frigate, the TCP Gaziantep, also took part in the operation.

"The skiff boat was seized and five pirates on board were rendered ineffective," Gurak told reporters. Gurak did not provide details on what ship the pirates allegedly planned to attack.

Lawless coast
Several pirate attacks still occur off Somalia's lawless coast each week despite poor weather and the presence of international warships in the gulf. At least 11 ships are still being held.

Somali pirates seized a Turkish ship, the Horizon-1, with 23 crew earlier this month, and negotiations for a ransom settlement are reportedly under way. The ship was carrying chemicals from Saudi Arabia to Jordan.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and the clan militias and insurgent groups who control the coastline have little incentive for reining in pirates who make multimillion-dollar ransoms.

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