Dutch Forces Free 20 Pirate Hostages, Let Pirates Go

Somali pirates forced Yemeni captives to turn fishing boat into pirate mother ship
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 18, 2009 7:30 AM CDT
Dutch Forces Free 20 Pirate Hostages, Let Pirates Go
A member of the Dutch special forces stands guard near the bridge of Dutch cargo ship MV Jumbo Javelin as it passes near the Gulf of Aden in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Tom Maliti, File)

Dutch commandos freed 20 hostages in a raid on a pirate "mother ship" today, Reuters reports. The captives, Yemeni fisherman, had been forced to sail their vessel after it was hijacked by pirates for use in support of attacks in the Gulf of Aden. Seven pirates were briefly detained but the Dutch, on a NATO patrol, decided they had no legal power to arrest them.

"They can only arrest them if the pirates are from the Netherlands, the victims are from the Netherlands, or if they are in Netherlands waters," a NATO commander said. Assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades were found on the Yemenis' boat, which the Dutch discovered when they chased fleeing pirates after thwarting an attack on a Greek tanker. (More Netherlands stories.)

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