Pacific

China navy says it foiled pirate attack on ship off Somalia

FILE - In this July 3, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, the 12th Chinese naval flotilla, consisting of frigate "Yiyang", left, frigate "Changzhou" center, and comprehensive supply ship "Qiandaohu", prepare to set sail for the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to protect commercial ships from pirate attacks at a port in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province. China's navy said Monday, April 10, 2017, its forces rescued a freighter from attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden over the weekend. Missing from the report was any mention of the participation of the Indian navy, which says it dispatched four ships and a helicopter to provide cover for the action. (Hu Sheyou/Xinhua via AP)

FILE - In this July 3, 2012 file photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, the 12th Chinese naval flotilla, consisting of frigate "Yiyang", left, frigate "Changzhou" center, and comprehensive supply ship "Qiandaohu", prepare to set sail for the escort mission in the Gulf of Aden and Somali waters to protect commercial ships from pirate attacks at a port in Zhoushan, east China's Zhejiang Province. China's navy said Monday, April 10, 2017, its forces rescued a freighter from attack by pirates in the Gulf of Aden over the weekend. Missing from the report was any mention of the participation of the Indian navy, which says it dispatched four ships and a helicopter to provide cover for the action. (Hu Sheyou/Xinhua via AP)  (The Associated Press)

China's navy says its forces foiled an attack by pirates on a freighter in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Somalia.

A statement said 16 members of the Chinese special forces were lowered onto the Tuvalu-flagged ship OS35 by helicopter at dawn on Sunday. They placed the 19 crew members in a safety cabin and searched the ship to ensure there were no further threats.

No word was given on arrests or other contact with the pirates. The navy said a distress signal was received Saturday saying the ship was under attack by an unknown number of pirates aboard a single boat.

The rescue operation was launched from the missile frigate Yulin, part of the 25th anti-piracy squadron sent by China since it joined multinational patrols in 2008.