During a rescue operation by the Danish navy, two people that were being held hostage by alleged Somali pirates were killed. The mission did, however, successfully free 16 other prisoners off the Horn of Africa. Seventeen pirates were arrested.
Danish warship, the Absalon, fired shots onto the suspicious boat after it ignored orders to stop. The ship is a part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission Ocean Shield. They had the boat under surveillance for some time, and stopped it when they attempted to sneak into open waters away from the coast.
After locating the severely wounded hostages, the ship’s doctor provided immediate aid, but was unable to save their lives. The other hostages have not reported any injuries, and there were also no killed or wounded pirates.
This is just another unfortunate incident that highlights the dangers of the battle on piracy. In recent occurrences, the risks are exceptionally high as lawless, poverty-stricken Somali pirates are seeking larger ransoms in return for ships and crewmen.
The Absalon follow proper protocols when engaging with the pirate boat; direct fire to parts of the vessel was a last resort in the attempt to halt the pirates. The Navy will still conduct a thorough investigation into this situation nonetheless.
Reuters reports that the captured pirates would be held aboard the Absalon until Denmark could determine if it could hand them over to a country in the region to be prosecuted.