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Marines from Camp Pendleton seize ship from pirates in Gulf of Aden

September 9, 2010 |  7:17 am

Marines from Camp Pendleton, part of an anti-piracy task force, boarded a pirated ship in the Gulf of Aden at gunpoint Thursday and reclaimed the vessel for its German owners, the Navy announced in Bahrain.

Two dozen Marines from the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit freed the crew of the M/V Magellan Star and took nine pirates into custody. No Marines were hurt during the boarding and seizure, the Navy said.

Pirates had taken control of the ship Wednesday and intended to hold it and the crew for ransom, a common practice in the region off the Somali coast.

The Marines were aboard the San Diego-based amphibious transport craft Dubuque as part of Combined Task Force 151. A Turkish frigate, the flagship of the international task force, responded to a distress call from the Magellan Star after the pirates attacked.

In comments after the ship was retaken, the Turkish admiral who heads the task force suggested that this may not be the last time that Marines from the Camp Pendleton-based 15th MEU force pirates to give up a ship they've hijacked.

"We are completely committed to bringing the disruptive acts of piracy to an end," said Turkish Rear Adm. Sinan Ertugrul.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The Navy's Dubuque, left, near the the German-owned freighter that had been taken by pirates. Credit: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Farmerie