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German warship thwarts pirate attack off Somalia

Source: Xinhua | 12-26-2008 12:30

Special Report:   China navy's escorting mission

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- A German warship on Thursday foiled an attempt by pirates to seize an Egyptian bulk carrier off the troubled Somali coast, the Kuala Lumpur-based International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has said.

One of the crew was injured by gunshots during the attack as the carrier was passing through the Gulf of Aden toward Asia, said Noel Choong, chief of the reporting center of the anti-piracy IMB.

"The pirates were randomly firing at the ship, resulting in one of the crew members sustaining injuries to his leg," he said.

The German navy frigate Karlsruhe dispatched a helicopter to the scene after receiving an alert from a passing ship and the pirates fled as the chopper arrived, according to a statement from the German military.

The injured crewman received medical treatment on the Karlsruhe, the statement said.

Choong warned that pirate attacks are still mounting despite recent international efforts to secure the Somali coast, one of the busiest marine channels in the world.

"Despite increased naval patrols, pirates are continuing to attack ships because the warships cannot be everywhere at the same time. But we are pleased with the quick assistance by the coalition force," Choong said.

More than a dozen warships from countries including Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Iran and India are now patrolling the gulf. Two Chinese destroyers and a support vessel were to depart Friday from Sanya in southern China to join the international fleet of warships.

According to the IMB, more than 120 attacks have occurred in Somali waters this year and more than 240 crew members are still being held hostage by pirates.


Editor:Zhang Yun