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    British Forces Free Hijacked Italian Ship


    by NTDTelevision

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    Italy's Defense Minister says British forces have stormed a hijacked Italian cargo ship. The troops captured 11 Somali pirates in the operation.

    On Tuesday British forces rescued 23 crewmembers of an Italian cargo ship that was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

    [Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defense Minister]:
    "The (military) operation that has led to surrender of the pirates that had hijacked the Italian ship Montecristo has just ended."

    [Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defense Minister]:
    "(The special forces) landed from helicopters onto rubber boats surrounding the ship, they climbed from the rubber boats onto the ship where they arrested the pirates and started communicating with the crew locked inside 'the citadel'."

    11 Somali pirates were arrested.

    The minister said the crew had taken refugee inside an armored shelter on the ship when it was hijacked on Monday.

    They were able to steer the ship, bringing it closer to an area where anti-piracy forces were patrolling.

    [Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defense Minister]:
    "The crew had locked themselves in the protected area. This is a modern ship, which has this facility, this protected sector called 'the citadel,' from which they were able to keep control of the engine and steer the ship. From the moment they locked themselves in, the ship arrested all movement and the pirates found themselves without their main weapon, that is the possibility to threaten the crew and treat them like hostages.”

    There were no reported injuries.

    [Ignazio La Russa, Italian Defense Minister]:
    "No damage to people has been reported and not even to the ship, as it was carrying iron and not inflammable material."

    The move into an armored shelter appeared part of new measures agreed upon by seafaring nations to combat Somali piracy...