SEOUL, South Korea – South Korean Naval Special Forces on Friday stormed a ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, freeing all 21 crew members and killing eight pirates, South Korea’s military said. Five pirates were also captured in the raid.
South Korean news agency “Yonhap” said President Lee Myung-bak had praised the operation in a nationally televised address. “Our military carried out the operation perfectly under difficult circumstances. I appreciate it and send a message of encouragement,” Lee stated.
The raid took place about 800 miles (1,300 km) off the coast of Somalia. It was the first such rescue by South Korea since it sent warships to join multinational anti-piracy patrols in the pirate-infested area in 2009.