Thursday, May 6, 2010

Russian commandos free hijacked Russian oil tanker from pirates

Russian forces freed a hijacked Russian oil tanker and rescued its crew in a helicopter-backed operation on Thursday that killed a Somali pirate, authorities said. Russian investigators said 10 captured pirates, who seized the China-bound MV Moscow University in the Gulf of Aden, will be brought to Moscow for prosecution.

They hijacked the tanker on Wednesday with its 23-member crew and a cargo of crude oil worth $52 million. Its rescue will please the Kremlin, which has been seeking to revive Russia"s naval muscle far from its shores despite limited resources.

"Measures are being undertaken to bring the detained pirates to Moscow," the Investigative Committee of the Prosector General"s office said on official site sledcomproc.ru.

The European Union"s naval force said the Russian warship Marshal Shaposhnikov had sent in a helicopter that returned fire after being shot at by pirates.

Eventually the pirates surrendered and a boarding team from the Marshal Shaposhnikov arrived on board the tanker. A spokeswoman for the tanker’s owner, Novorossiysk Shipping Co, said the crew survived the 20-hour siege by hiding in a safe room inaccessible to the hijackers...................................Source

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