Taiwan's Foreign Ministry says the captain of a hijacked Taiwanese fishing boat was killed in crossfire between U.S. Navy personnel and Somali pirates.

The ministry says the USS Stephen W. Groves and pirates aboard the hijacked Jih Chun Tsai 68 fishing trawler exchanged fire over the Indian Ocean during the U.S. frigate's anti-piracy patrol mission earlier this month.

The ministry said in a statement late Saturday that three pirates and Taiwanese captain Wu Lai-yu were killed in the incident.

The ministry said pirates hijacked the boat off the Somali coast in March 2010 and used the vessel to launch maritime attacks.

Confrontations with Somali pirates have turned increasingly violent in recent months.