Israeli guards fight off Somali pirates

Sunday, April 26, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Israeli private security guards on Saturday night thwarted an attack on an Italian cruise ship by Somali pirates.

As the ship sailed far off the coast of Somalia, a small white boat carrying six heavily armed men approached and opened fire. The cruise ship's 1,000 passengers and 500 crew members immediately took cover, and the Israeli security team took over, returning heavy fire at the pirates.

Stunned by the resistance, the pirates made a hasty retreat back to shore. It was one of the first pirate attacks in which a nonmilitary ship fought back.

The cruise line later released a statement saying it hired the Israelis because they are the best trained private security guards it could find.

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