Spanish ship thwarts Somali pirate attack

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The ship’s onboard private security guards manage to fight off the pirates who attacked the fishing boat on Sunday morning.

Madrid – A Spanish fishing boat thwarted an attack by pirates in the Indian Ocean in the early hours of Sunday morning, Spain's defence ministry said.

The pirates fired bullets and threw a grenade at the Spanish-flagged Ortube Berria, before being fought off by the ship's onboard private security guards, the ministry said in a statement.

The attack happened at 5:37 am (0437 GMT) some 230 nautical miles (426 kilometres) southwest of the Seychelles.
"No injuries or damage to equipment have been recorded," the ministry said.

Around 50 private security contractors were sent from Spain in mid-November to protect Spanish fishing trawlers from piracy attacks.

Pirates seized another Spanish trawler, the Alakrana, on 2 October when it was over 300 nautical miles from the Somali coast.

They eventually released the vessel along with its 36 crew on November 17, claiming to have been paid USD 4 million (EUR 2.6 million) as a ransom.

The Spanish government has refused to follow France's lead in deploying its army to protect ships in Somali waters, preferring instead to use private security firms.

AFP / Expatica

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