Pirates Somali forces exchange fire in battle to free Lankan crew

Somali maritime forces and pirates on board a hijacked oil tanker with a Sri Lankan crew shot at each other today, Sky News reportedThe ship – the Aris 13 – is anchored off the Somali coast near the town of Alula. Eight Sri Lankan crew were on the vessel when it was taken over on Monday and most of them were being held captive in a locked room. An official said: “We tried to intercept a boat that was carrying supplies to the pirates, but pirates on the ship fired on us and so the pirate boat escaped.” One pirate named as Abdulaahi is claiming that the pirates have killed a member of the marine force and injured another – but the official has dismissed the claim. (Colombo Gazette)

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