Iran arrests 13 pirates in international waters

Published April 4, 2012 5:27PM (EDT)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's navy has detained 13 pirates in international waters after a 2-day fight, a local newspaper reported Wednesday.

The state-run IRAN daily quoted navy chief Adm. Habibollah Sayyari as saying the clashes broke out after pirates took over a commercial ship last week in the Indian Ocean, some 1,800 miles (3,000 kilometers) from the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas.

The vessel was identified as Armis and was destined for Iran, but it was not clear what country's flag it was flying.

"During the clashes 13 pirates were detained who will be transferred to Iran and they will be delivered to judiciary," Sayyari was quoted as saying. He said the pirates killed two non-Iranian crew members of the ship and wounded one during their attack.

Iran in the past has reportedly detained at least three pirates on one occasion , although Iranian forces have several times released seized ships after clashing with pirates.

Meanwhile semi-official Mehr news agency published photos of several men identified the agency said the Iranian navy arrested during the fighting.

It also published a photo showing several guns and rifles that were reportedly confiscated from the pirates.

Iranian law does specifically address piracy, but its penal law leaves open the possibility of the death penalty for those convicted of organized robbery and hijacking.

Iran regularly deploys naval ships to fight piracy in the Gulf of Aden.

By Salon Staff

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