South Korean destroyer Choi Young, with some 300 special troops, pursued the 11,500-ton Samho Jewelry and special forces stormed the Samho Shipping Co. earlier today and freed all hostages,"the forces captured five pirates alive. There were 13 pirates aboard the Samho Jewelry.
The South Korean captain of the ship suffered a gunshot wound to his stomach during the operation, but his condition is not life-threatening, Lee said. As the operation began, the destroyer and Lynx helicopters fired warning shots in the air after the elite forces silently approached the deck of the Samho Jewelry. Armed with AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, the pirates put up resistance and the South Korean forces immediately returned fire.
The operation, which took place in high seas about 1,300 kilometers off northeast Somalia, lasted about five hours. Tuesday's firefight left several pirates missing, and they are believed to have been killed, though their bodies have not been found, officials said. Three South Korean soldiers suffered minor injuries and were sent to a hospital in Oman.
Friday's rescue operation came after a brief gun battle on Tuesday when the South Korean destroyer Choi Young detected Somali pirates who apparently got off the vessel to hijack a Mongolian vessel nearby.
The South Korean special forces aboard a fast-sailing Navy boat and a Lynx helicopter were dispatched to rescue the Mongolian vessel, sparking the gun battle.
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