Denmark’s armed forces announced on Thursday that Danish naval patrol claimed the lives of four pirates in a fire exchange in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of Nigeria.
“No Danish soldiers were injured, but five pirates were shot,” the military said. All four pirates died, and one was injured.
Reports said the unfortunate incident occurred on Wednesday when the frigate Esbern Snare, patrolling the area since early November, attempted to board the pirate boat.
On their part, the Danish forces fired warning shots, and the pirates immediately fired back.
According to Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen, the soldiers’ intervention had “probably prevented concrete pirate attacks against vessels in the region.”
Frederiksen, who was scheduled to visit the Danish ship later Thursday during a visit to Ghana, said the Esbern Snare had “made a significant contribution to security in the Gulf of Guinea.
The pirate ship sank after the shooting, and the eight pirates were brought aboard the frigate.
In 2020, over 195 attacks were recorded in a piracy hotspot stretching 5,700 kilometers from Senegal to Angola, through to the Gulf of Guinea.
Over 130 of 135 hostage-takings at sea occurred in the region in the same year, according to the International Maritime Office.
Trine Bramsen told reporters that the Danish helicopter-equipped frigate and its 175 sailors “are fulfilling an important task by protecting Danish and other commercial vessels in the region.
In March, Copenhagen announced it was sending the vessel to patrol the zone where some 40 Danish ships operate daily.