U.S. Navy Seizes 7 Suspected Pirates After Attempted Hijacking

The U.S. Navy has seized seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden after a merchant ship sent a distress call saying gunmen had tried to board it from a skiff.

Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, says the Marshal Islands-flagged Polaris sent the call on Wednesday afternoon.

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The USS Vella Gulf raced to the location where U.S. sailors boarded the skiff.

Christensen says the suspects were armed with AK-47s and RPGs. They will eventually be handed over to Kenya.

It was the Navy's first arrest since a new U.S. anti-pirate task force was established to deal with the escalating piracy problem in the Gulf.

It also follows an agreement last month with Kenya for the U.S. to hand over arrested pirates.