News24

Seychelles catches 11 pirates

2009-12-07 17:20

Victoria - The Seychelles coastguard detained 11 suspected Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, a statement said on Monday.

"The Seychelles coastguard vessel Topaz arrested 11 Somali pirates in an operation undertaken on Sunday evening in an area 225 nautical miles north west of Mahe (the main island)," the statement said.

The coastguard vessel approached several suspect skiffs, after being alerted to possible pirate activity by a European Union surveillance aircraft and was fired upon, the statement from the Seychelles presidency said.

"The 11 men were caught in possession of diverse arms and weaponry. There were no casualties during the operation," it said.

The world's naval powers last year started deploying warships in the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to curb attacks by ransom-hunting pirates that were seen as a threat to one of the globe's most crucial maritime trade routes.

Pirate groups have since shifted their focus to the wider Indian Ocean, a huge area much more difficult to patrol, and started venturing as far as the Seychelles and beyond.