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Pirates arrested

Somali troops stormed a Dubai-flagged ship yesterday that had been hijacked off the Horn of Africa nation, releasing its crew and arresting seven pirates, authorities said. They pledged to do the same to rescue a Spanish ship held by pirates since the weekend.

"Our troops stormed on to the Al-Khaleej and engaged the pirates. There was brief fighting before they defeated them," Abdirizak Hared, the mayor of Bosasso port, said.

The Al-Khaleej had been carrying food and new cars for sale in Somalia when it was raided by pirates seven kilometres off Bosasso, in the Gulf of Aden on the northeast coast, on Monday.

It was the second rescue mission against pirates operating from the lawless country this month after French commandos swooped to arrest six pirates in the same area.

A surge in hijackings for ransom has made the waters off Somalia some of the world's most dangerous shipping zones.

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