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.