NATO Warships Capture Somali Pirates

NATO warships have captured two dhows used by Somali pirates as motherships from which to launch attacks off the coasts of Somalia and Oman, rescuing a total of 34 crew members, the military alliance said on Monday.

On Friday, a U.S. warship freed 20 Indian crew members off the southwestern coast of Oman after intercepted an Indian dhow, which was hijacked by nine pirates, NATO said in a statement.

The pirates were put on a fast boat carried by the dhow and given sufficient fuel, provisions and water to return to Somalia, the statement said.

On Saturday, a Danish warship intercepted an Iranian dhow used by pirates as a mothership off the Somali coast, rescuing five Iranian and nine Pakistani crew members and detained 25 suspected pirates.

A decision will be made “in the next few days” on whether to prosecute the suspects or not, the statement said.

“Within the last two days NATO has disrupted two piracy-related dhows with a total of 34 suspected Somali pirates now unable to engage in unlawful acts on the high seas,” said Rear Admiral Sinan Azmi Tosun, commander of the alliance’s counter-piracy operation that has been launched since December 2008.

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