NAIROBI May 12 A European Union naval vessel
rescued an Iranian fishing dhow that was being used by Somali
pirates as a "mothership" for attacks on other boats, the EU
Naval Force (EU NAVFOR) said on Saturday.
EU NAVFOR said its frigate HNLMS Van Amstel rescued the dhow
and its crew of 17 Iranians off the coast of Somalia. Eleven
suspected pirates were on board.
"The dhow had been pirated 10 days earlier and was being
used to carry out pirate attacks on merchant vessels," it said
in a statement.
Somali pirates are making greater use of captured smaller
boats for launching attacks as they are harder to track than
bigger ships that they used to favour.
The dhow was spotted by a surveillance flight, EU NAVFOR
said. It was towing two skiffs and what looked like weapons used
to attack vessels.
Although the hijack success rate for Somali pirates has
dropped sharply in recent months, sea bandits seized a
Greek-owned tanker carrying close to a million barrels of crude
oil on Thursday, while it was sailing in the Arabian sea.
(Reporting by Duncan Miriri; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)