Iranian navy frees Chinese freighter, detains pirates
Iranian naval forces freed a Chinese freighter hijacked by Somali pirates off southern Iran on Friday and arrested all the attackers, the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars reported.
"Through the successful mission of Iranian naval forces, the ship was released and nine pirates were arrested," Iranian port official Saeed Izadiyan said, according to Fars. It did not say whether anyone had been hurt.
Earlier, Mehr agency reported that Chinese Embassy in Tehran asked the Iranian government to take all necessary steps to recover a Chinese freighter which has been hijacked by pirates off southern Iran and save its crew.
The cargo ship, the "Xianghuamen," belongs to Nanjing Ocean Shipping Co Ltd in Nanjing, eastern China, the embassy said in the posting.
The ship was commandeered Friday morning in the Gulf of Oman near the south Iranian port of Chabahar, the embassy said.
Izadiyan said the pirates were Somali and that the ship was now on its way to Iran.
The Xianghuamen had departed from Shanghai, stopped to unload goods in Singapore, and had been on its way to Imam Khomeini port in southwest Iran, Chinese news agency Xinhua reported.
Chinese ambassador to Iran Yu Hongyang had demanded that Iran make the safety of the crew a priority.
Edited by: S. Isayev