January 21, 2011

"Military carried out the raid perfectly under difficult circumstances"

AFP "South Korean navy commandos Friday stormed a ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, rescuing all the 21 crew and killing eight pirates, military officials said." by Park Chan-Kyong

'The pirates seized the 11,500-ton ship and 21 crew members -- eight South Koreans, two Indonesians and 11 from Myanmar -- on January 15 in the Arabian Sea when it was en route to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates.

'Seoul ordered a destroyer on patrol in the Gulf of Aden to give chase and President Lee ordered "all possible measures" to save the crew.

'General Lee said the commandos moved in after receiving information that the "mother ship" for the pirates was leaving a Somali port.

'"Since we thought we could be in an extremely difficult situation if the pirates joined forces, we chose today to carry out the operation."

'Lee praised the freighter's 57-year-old skipper Suk Hae-Kyun for his prudence. "Pirates sought to take the vessel to the Somalian coast fast but the skipper helped us earn time by manoevering the vessel in a serpentine manner."'

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