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13 Feb, 2009 10:32

Pirate ships detained near Somalia

Russian heavy missile cruiser Peter the Great has stopped three small pirate ships off the coast of Somalia. Ten pirates – all of them Somali citizens – have been detained.

The detainees were carrying weapons, including machine guns, grenade launchers and anti-infantry grenades. They also had 500 grammes of drugs and a large amount of money.

The detained pirates were high on drugs.

The statement came from Igor Dygalo, aide to the Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Navy.

“Military prosecutors are presently onboard the ship. The Foreign and Justice Ministries will decide what to do with the pirates,” Dygalo said.

On February 12 a helicopter taking off from the deck of Peter the Great spotted two boats approaching an Iranian fishing ship at high speed. Noticing the helicopter the boats began slowing down.

The helicopter crew saw the pirates throwing weapons into the sea. The helicopter continued following the boats until Peter the Great arrived in the area.