The Dutch frigate HNLMS De Ruyter opened fire on a ship carrying pirates in the Arabian Sea on Friday, according to the Dutch Ministry of Defence.
At the end of the afternoon, a helicopter discovered a suspected pirate mother ship 40 kilometres away from the frigate. The ship did not respond to radio signals to identify itself and failed to stop when warning shots were given.
As the Dutch frigate could not be certain there were no hostages on board the pirate ship, marksmen destroyed a skiff on the deck of the mother ship rendering it impossible for the pirates to carry out attacks on other vessels. Pirates off the east coast of Africa often use smaller boats to attack merchant ships in the vicinity of mother ships.
HNLMS De Ruyter is taking part in the NATO mission Ocean Shield, patrolling the waters off east Africa until the end of February. The NATO mission began in 2009.
© Radio Netherlands Worldwide