DUBAI - Iranian forces fought Somali pirates for two days to free a ship hijacked in the Indian Ocean last week and have arrested all 13 pirates, the semi-official FARS news agency quoted a navy official as saying on Tuesday.
Armed pirate gangs are making millions of dollars in ransoms and are able to stay out at sea for long periods using captured merchant vessels as mother ships. The shipping security crisis costs world trade billions of dollars each year.
"A ship carrying thousands of tons of goods to Iran was attacked and hijacked on March 26. Pirates wanted to take the ship to Somalia," FARS quoted Iran's navy commander Habibollah Sayyari as saying.
"Our forces reached the hijacked ship in the shortest time possible and after 48 hours of intensive fighting... they were able to arrest all the 13 pirates and free the crew," Sayyari said, adding the vessel was not harmed.