COPENHAGEN - The Danish navy captured 16 Somali pirates and freed 12 captives when it intercepted a "mothership" vessel off the Horn of Africa, it said on Thursday.
The Danish warship Absalon, serving in NATO's counter-piracy mission Ocean Shield, stopped the vessel off the east coast of Somalia on Wednesday, boarded it without resistance, arrested the suspected Somali pirates and found the hostages.
"The operation was carried out without use of armed force," the Danish navy command said in a statement.
"As the Absalon approached the ship and hailed it, they surrendered right away," navy spokesman Mikael Bill said.
Held by the pirates were three Iranians and nine Pakistani hostages, the original crew of the vessel, a Jelbut-type fishing boat seized by pirates about a month ago, Bill said.