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Pirates hijack Chinese cargo ship, Iran navy comes to the rescue

Pirates seized a Chinese freighter, and the Iranian navy shadowed the ship.

Chinese ship pirates iran navyEnlarge
A South Korean freighter that was raided by Somali pirates in January, 2011 on the Arabian Sea. Pirates hijacked a Chinese freighter on April 6, 2012 in the Gulf of Oman, and the Iranian navy shadowed the vessel. (Handout/AFP/Getty Images)

A Chinese cargo ship was hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Oman on Friday morning, said reports from the Chinese state media, according to the BBC.

It was subsequently rescued by Iranian naval forces, according to Iranian news agency Fars, as reported by Reuters.

The BBC said China's state news agency, Xinhua, also confirmed that the ship was "rescued," citing China's embassy in Tehran as the source.

Fars reported that the Iranian navy arrested all the attackers. Iranian port official Saeed Izadiyan said, "Through the successful mission of Iranian naval forces, the ship was released and nine pirates were arrested," according to Fars, though there were no details on injuries. Izadiyan said the pirates were of Somali origin.

China's embassy in Tehran relayed the news of the ship being hijacked near the Iranian port of Chabahar early on Friday.

"The Chinese embassy... immediately established contact with relevant Iranian authorities demanding (that) Iran adopt all necessary measures to fully rescue the ship and crew," said Xinhua, according to AFP.

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The AFP reported that the vessel, called the Xianghuamen, is owned by Yuanyang shipping company and was sailing with a crew of 28, according to China Radio International.

The Xianghuamen had departed from Shanghai, stopped in Singapore to unload goods and was on its way to southwest Iran, to the Imam Khomeini port, according to Xinhua. The Chinese embassy also reported that the hijacked ship was being shadowed by the Iranian navy, said Reuters.

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The BBC noted that most hijackings in recent years have been carried out by Somali pirates who extended their reach all across the Indian Ocean.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iran/120406/pirates-hijack-chinese-cargo-ship-iran-tracks-them