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Russian warship frees hijacked tanker

world Updated: May 06, 2010 13:01 IST
PTI
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Russian special forces in a pre-dawn raid air-dropped onto the deck of a seized giant oil tanker and overpowered Somali pirates and freed 23 Russian sailors as well as the vessel.

Getting heliborne from the destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov which was chasing the tanker hijacked by Somali pirates for over 24 hours, the special forces stunned the pirates by dropping down early morning on the seized vessel and a brief battle overpowered them.

Shots were fired during the raid but no one was injured in the daring mid-sea rescue attempt, a high-ranking official of the EU-Naval forces was quoted as saying by RIA Novosti.

The special forces from the Russian marines also took into custody the Somali pirates who seized the ship bound for China with 86,000 tons of crude off the Sokotra Island in the Gulf of Aden.

The special forces task was made easy as the 24-member all-Russian crew had barricaded themselves in one of the compartments of the vessels for safety.

The official said the crew members managed to contact Russian naval warship on an anti-piracy patrol in the region on phone to get help. The ship though plying under a Liberian flag is owned by Novoship, a company part owned by the Russian government.

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