Danes free 18 hostages held by Somali pirates

Danish naval officials say one of its assault teams freed 16 Pakistanis and two Iranians held by suspected Somali pirates.

Navy spokesman Kenneth Nielsen says three pirates were wounded in a firefight with Danish commandos after they boarded the vessel off Somalia's coast on April 2. Nielsen says the team was backed by a helicopter.

Nielsen said the operation targeted an Iranian fishing boat that the pirates had used as a mothership. They also seized weapons and equipment.

Nielsen says the wounded were treated by doctors.

The pirates are being held on Esbern Snare, a Danish ship that is part of NATO's counter-piracy force. Nielsen said there is no decision about what to do with those captured.