NATO Ships, Helicopters Foil Pirate Attack

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A NATO spokesman says alliance warships and helicopters have foiled an attack on a Norwegian tanker by Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden.

Portuguese Lt. Cmdr. Alexandre Santos Fernandes says NATO interrogated, disarmed and released the pirates after a dramatic overnight chase involving Canadian and American forces.

The pirates attacked the MV Front Ardenne late on Saturday but fled after crew alerted warships in the area.

The pirates fled in their small skiff and were pursued by ship and helicopter for hours but only stopped after repeated warning shots were fired.

Lt. Cmdr. Fernandes said Sunday that the pirates were released because they cannot be prosecuted under Canadian law.

He said the decision to detain pirates was a matter for national authorities not NATO.

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