Dutch marines kill pirates in fishing boat rescue Published: 05 April, 2011
PIRATES who have been constantly harassing fishing vessels off the Somali coast during the past two years suffered a severe setback yesterday when two of them were killed by Dutch marines.
They were killed in a fire fight with the marines from the Dutch frigate Tromp which was trying to free an Iranian fishing boat which had been captured by the pirates. The two pirates were later buried at sea.A large number of fishing boats have been attacked at sea by Somali pirates, but in the last few months European navies have been hitting back. In February a Royal Navy task force from HMS Cornwall snatched a group of Yemeni fishermen to safety after they had been held illegally. Last year the French navy captured 35 pirates suspects in a special operation and Spanish fishing companies have been placing armed guards on some of their trawlers. There are no British fishing vessels currently operating in that area.The Dutch operation happened when the frigate Tromp tried to free the Iranian trawler.Dutch marines in inflatable boats came under fire when they approached the vessel and subsequently returned fire.Ten of the pirates tried to flee in a fast motor boat when the marines made a second approach but gave up when the marines fired a number of warning shots. Another six pirates were apprehended aboard the fishing vessel, while two pirates had apparently been killed in the exchange of fire with the marines.The Somali pirates, some of whom were injured, are being held on the frigate. The defence ministry reports that shortly after the liberation of the Iranian vessel, a hijacked merchant vessel ship approached the Tromp, apparently with the intention of hijacking the Iranian fishing vessel. The hijacked merchant vessel turned around, however, after the Dutch frigate fired several warning shots.