South Korea Raid Frees Hijacked Ship From Pirates

Commandos free 21 hostages, kill 8 scoundrels
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 21, 2011 7:08 AM CST
South Korea Raid Frees Hijacked Ship from Pirates
South Korean naval special forces approach the hijacked cargo ship Samho Jewelry in the Arabian Sea Friday, Jan. 21, 2011.   (AP Photo/South Korean navy via Yonhap)

South Korean commandos stormed a chemical freighter that had been hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean last week, rescuing all 21 captives while killing eight pirates and capturing five more, according to officials in Seoul. The raiding party boarded the ship in the pre-dawn darkness this morning, systematically sweeping through the ship. The freighter’s captain was shot in the stomach during an ensuing shootout, but the injury is not considered life-threatening.

“Despite the difficult situation with limited information, and pirates and hostages mixed in a group, with meticulous planning and practice they minimized the damage and successfully carried out the plan,” the government boasted in a statement. The raid should be a political boon for Lee Myung-bak, who has been derided as weak for his response to North Korea’s recent attacks, the LA Times observes. (More Somali pirates stories.)

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