Five Somali pirates caught alive in a military operation to rescue a seized South Korean cargo ship and its crew are detained in an isolated room of a Korean destroyer escorting the freed vessel to Oman, a military source said Saturday.
Thirteen pirates had seized the 11,500-ton chemical carrier Samho Jewelry before South Korean Navy commandos raided the ship Friday. The operation was successful, with all 21 crew members rescued alive, though the captain was wounded.
South Korean naval special forces detain Somali pirates on the Samho Jewelry vessel in the Arabian Sea January 21, 2011. (The Republic of Korea Navy)
Eight of the pirates were shot dead and five others were caught alive.
The freed freighter was heading to Oman under escort of the South Korean destroyer Choi Young.
South Korean troops "are keeping the five pirates under watch after putting them in an isolated compartment aboard the Choi Young," a military source said on condition of anonymity. "The bodies of eight pirates are being kept in a refrigerator and will be transported to" the port of Salalah in Oman, he said.
Several naval commandos are also aboard the freed ship to guard against contingencies, he said.
"The Samho Jewelry is now traveling at a speed of six to seven knots per hour toward the port of Salalah. It will be able to reach the destination early next week," the source said.
Officials have said that they were studying the U.N. maritime law and similar cases in the past to determine how to deal with the pirates caught alive. The pirates could be brought to South Korea or third countries for criminal punishment, officials said. (Yonhap News)
軍 "생포해적 5명 최영함 격실에 격리"
삼호주얼리호, UDT요원 태우고 기동중
소말리아 해적에게 납치됐다가 구조된 삼호주얼 리호의 구출작전에서 생포된 해적 5명은 최영함(4천500t급)의 격실에 격리된 것으로 알려졌다.
군의 한 소식통은 22일 "청해부대는 생포된 해적 5명을 최영함의 격실에 격리시 키고 감시를 하고 있다"며 "해적 8명의 시신은 냉동고에 보관돼 오만의 살랄라 항구 까지 이송될 것"이라고 밝혔다.
특히 만약의 돌발 사태에 대비해 청해부대 특수전요원(UDT) 수명을 삼호주얼리 호에 승선시켜 경계임무를 수행토록 했다고 이 소식통은 설명했다.
소식통은 "현재 삼호주얼리호는 6~7노트의 속력으로 살랄라항으로 기동 중이며 내주 초께 목적지에 도착할 수 있을 것"이라며 "전날 구출작전 이후 선원들이 배의 정비를 마치고 기관을 움직였다"고 말했다.
그는 "선원들도 점차 심리적인 안정을 되찾고 있다"고 덧붙였다.
청해부대 최영함은 전날 '아덴만 여명작전'을 감행해 선원 21명을 구출했다.