S. Korean warship rescues N. Korean vessel off Somalia

South Korean snipers hovering in a helicopters Monday chased away pirates pursuing a North Korean freighter in the Gulf of Aden. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said in a statement that the 4,500-ton-class warship sent a Lynx helicopter to assist the North Korean vessel shortly after receiving a distress call that it was being chased by the pirate ship. The pirate vessel gave up chasing the North Korean vessel and sped away after snipers aboard the helicopter prepared to fire warning shots, the statement said. Meanwhile, Iran's embassy in Moscow said a Russian warship freed eight Iranians who were seized along with suspected Somali pirates last week. The embassy said the Iranians had been held captive by the pirates for almost three months, and praised the Russian Navy for the rescue.