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Originally published Thursday, April 12, 2012 at 8:45 AM

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Danish warship rescues 12 from Somali pirates

Denmark's navy says it has rescued 12 hostages and arrested 16 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The Associated Press

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The pirates chose the life; they know there are risks. Free the hostages, throw the... MORE
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COPENHAGEN, Denmark —

Denmark's navy says it has rescued 12 hostages and arrested 16 suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia.

The Absalon warship halted a pirate ship on Wednesday, freed the captives and captured the kidnappers without firing a shot, said Mikael Bill, spokesman for the Danish navy.

The released hostages from Iran and Pakistan, who had been held for about a month, were allowed to reboard their fishing vessel and head for their original destination, Bill said.

The suspected pirates remained in custody, and officials were determining whether they would be prosecuted and, if so, where.

Recently the European Union's anti-piracy military force announced it will become more proactive in the fight against pirates, expanding its mission to include Somalia's coast and waterways inside the east African country for the first time.

Somali pirates still command $5 million for successfully hijacked ships, but the days when they roamed the sea without challenge are over.

Multiple navies - including a large U.S. presence - patrol the Gulf of Aden and the wider Indian Ocean, and many private ships now carry armed guards.

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