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Royal Navy captures Somali pirates

The British Royal Navy found 13 pirates and a selection of weapons on board a vessel off the Somali coast.

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The Somali coastguards patrol off the coast, to help curb attacks. (Tony Karumba/AFP/Getty Images)

The British Royal Navy captured 13 suspected Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, after NATO-led ships intercepted their boat, Reuters reported.

The Royal Navy ship Fort Victoria and the USS Carney were sent to investigate the identity of the boat off the Somali coast, the Daily Telegraph reported. Using a Royal Navy Lynx 8 helicopter with Royal Marine snipers, the boat was warned to stop and when it didn’t Royal Marines in speedboats boarded the ship. Somali pirates then surrendered after they were found on board with a variety of weapons.

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"The Royal Navy and Royal Marines are playing a crucial role in securing and protecting international sea lanes that are vital to global trade,” said Defense Secretary Philip Hammond, the BBC reported. "This operation off the coast of Somalia is a clear demonstration of Britain's ability to tackle piracy that threatens our interests."

Hammond said he was “proud” of the successful operation.

"This firm and positive action will also send a clear message to other Somali pirates that we will not tolerate their attacks on international shipping,” said Captain Gerry Northwood, commander of the counter piracy operation on the Fort Victoria, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The Royal Navy’s spokesperson in Bahrain said the pirates’ vessel was in poor condition and the Navy is still investigating the evidence found on board, Reuters reported.

On February 23 Britain will host an international conference about the measures that should be used to tackle piracy in Somalia, the Daily Telegraph reported.

Read more at GlobalPost: US Navy rescues Iranian boat held hostage by pirates

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/120114/royal-navy-captures-somali-pirates