South Korea rescues Samho Jewelry crew from pirates
South Korean navy commandos have stormed a cargo ship which had been seized by pirates in the Arabian Sea.All 21 crew members of the South Korean-owned Samho Jewelry were rescued, said Col Lee Bung-woo, of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The navy said eight pirates had been killed and five captured.
South Korea is part of a multinational anti-piracy patrol in the area - it despatched a warship after the vessel was seized on Saturday.
The rescue raid took place about 1,300km (800 miles) off the coast of Somalia.
The Yonhap news agency said the Choi Young destroyer had approached the Samho Jewelry after the pirates left the vessel to hijack a Mongolian ship nearby.
"Three of our soldiers suffered light scratches on their bodies as they were fired upon by pirates on Tuesday," said Col Lee.
"Our Lynx helicopter immediately returned fire and several pirates fell into the waters."
Another officials said eight pirates had been confirmed dead.
Col Lee said the captain of the ship had suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach but his condition was not life-threatening.
Record ransom In a televised statement, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak said: "We will not tolerate any behaviour that threatens the lives and safety of our people in the future."
The 11,500-tonne Samho Jewelry was carrying chemicals from the United Arab Emirates towards Sri Lanka when it was hijacked in the waters between Oman and India.
Its crew was made up of eight South Koreans, two Indonesians and 11 Burmese.
The Gulf of Aden, between Yemen and Somalia, is one of the world's busiest shipping routes and has become a hotspot for pirate attacks.
Last year, Somali pirates received a record ransom of $9.5m (£5.8m) after seizing another ship owned by Samho Shipping.
The Samho Dream supertanker had been hijacked in the Indian Ocean in April.