VLADIVOSTOK, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - A destroyer from
Russia's Pacific Fleet, which was escorting six merchant
vessels through the Gulf of Aden, fired warning shots at Somali
pirates as they tried to seize a ship, a Navy spokesman said on
The Eide Trader, sailing under the Marshall Islands flag,
was part of the convoy being escorted by the Admiral Panteleyev
on Saturday when two speedboats closed in on the slow-moving
ship in an attempt to hijack it. The Russian destroyer fired
warning shots at the pirates who immediately backed off.
"Six merchant ships from different countries were under
the Admiral Panteleyev's protection as part of an international
convoy through a safe region in the Gulf of Aden. The Pacific
Fleet agreed to escort the Eide Trader freighter... despite its
slow speed," the Navy spokesman said.
All the ships made it safely through the pirate infested
waters and the Admiral Panteleyev is heading for Bahrain to
take on supplies before returning to its duties in the Gulf of
The Admiral Panteleyev is an Udaloy-class missile
destroyer armed with anti-ship missiles, 30-mm and 100-mm guns,
and two Ka-27 Helix helicopters.
The destroyer seized in April a boat carrying 29 suspected
pirates, believed to have been involved in the unsuccessfully
attack on a Russian-crewed oil tanker as it passed through the
Gulf of Aden en route to Singapore.
Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen
countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia.
According to the United Nations, Somali pirates carried out at
least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined
ransom payouts of around $150 million.