South Korea's navy has rescued all crew members aboard a South Korean chemical ship hijacked by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, President Lee Myung-bak said on Friday.
"Our soldiers rescued all of 21 crew aboard Samho Jewellery, including eight Koreans, who were hijacked by Somalia pirates," Lee told reporters.
The captain of the 11,500-tonne Samho Jewellery was shot by pirates during the rescue mission, a military official said in a separate briefing.
Five pirates were captured, and eight were killed.
The vessel, en route to Sri Lanka from the United Arab Emirates, was seized at the weekend. Aboard was a crew of eight Koreans, 11 Myanmar nationals and two Indonesians.
The hijacking came two months after an oil supertanker belonging to the same firm was freed after seven months in captivity, the government and local media said.
Navies from emerging and developed nations, including the European Union, China, India, Russia, Japan and the United States, have intensified patrols in the region to combat piracy.
A South Korean naval destroyer had chased the hijacked ship for days, and started a rescue attempt before dawn on Friday. The mission last five hours.
According to local media, the Samho Jewellery belonged to Samho Shipping, whose oil supertanker Samho Dream was released in November after being held by Somali pirates for seven months.
The pirates said they had received a record ransom of $9.5 million (5.9 million pounds) for the release of the supertanker
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