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San Diego sailors free Iranian fishermen from Persian Gulf pirates

January 6, 2012 | 11:18 am

San Diego sailors rescued 13 Iranian fishermen held captive for more than a month by pirates in the northern Arabian Sea, the Navy said Friday.

Sailors from the destroyer Kidd stormed the Iranian-flagged fishing vessel Al Molai on Thursday after its crew issued a distress call. The pirates surrendered without resistance.

Fifteen pirates were arrested and taken to the carrier John C. Stennis. The Iranian fishermen were given food and water, the Navy said.

"They were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations,” said Naval Criminal Investigative Service agent Josh Schminky.


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Photo: Navy destroyer Kidd near the Iranian fishing vessel just outside the Persian Gulf where fishermen were rescued from pirates. Credit: U.S. Navy