A band of pirates tortured the crew of a German tanker off the coast of Somalia to extract a higher ransom payment and to find information about the ship's fuel reserves, according to a federal court filing.
The retired British couple were sailing the world on a 38-foot-yacht that represented most of their life savings when Somali pirates captured them last year, demanding the sort of huge ransom a multimillionaire or a multinational company might cough up.
Security forces from Somalia's semiautonomous Puntland region stormed a hijacked cargo vessel early Thursday and outgunned the pirates holding it after they fatally shot the ship's Pakistani captain, authorities said.
Drops of sweat trickled down the faces of the pirate hunters on the Swedish warship. They conferred in low voices, finally reaching a consensus: Yes, throw another pitcher of water onto the sauna heater.
Russian special forces rappelled onto a disabled oil tanker taken over by Somali pirates and freed 23 Russian sailors early Thursday, the commander of the EU Naval Force said. Ten pirates were arrested and one was killed.
The small gang of Somali pirates fired on an approaching ship, hoping their midnight attack would bring them millions in ransom. The ragtag bandits, though, had taken on far more than they could handle: a U.S. warship.
Somali pirates seized a tanker carrying crude oil from Saudi Arabia to the United States in the increasingly dangerous waters off East Africa, an official said Monday, an attack that could pose a huge environmental or security threat to the region.