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NATO warship assists Iranian vessel
by Staff Writers
Brussels (AFP) Jan 16, 2012

A NATO warship went to the rescue this weekend of an Iranian-flagged vessel whose engine broke down just days after its rescue from pirates by another NATO ship, the alliance said Monday.

An Italian ship, the ITS Grecale, offered the five Iranian and nine Pakistani crew food and water and worked through the night to fix the engine, but to no avail, NATO said in a statement.

"The engine was too badly damaged to repair at sea," the statement said.

"NATO offered to transfer the crew to the closest port, but they chose to stay with their vessel," it added. The ITS Grecale "is remaining in the area to monitor the situation, ready to provide further assistance if required."

The ship had been released from suspected Somali pirates on January 7 by a Danish warship, the HDMS Absalon.

That operation came days after a US warship, the USS Carney, intercepted the Indian-flagged dhow Al-Qashmi off the southwestern coast of Oman and freed its 20 Indian crew members.

The weekend assistance comes amid heightened tensions between the international community and Tehran.

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China says shots fired at cargo boat on Mekong
Shanghai (AFP) Jan 15, 2012
Unidentified attackers fired on a Chinese cargo boat on the Mekong River in Laos, China's police said Sunday, less than two months after Beijing began joint patrols to protect shipping. Shots were fired at the Chinese ship Sheng Tai 11 on Saturday evening, but none of the crew was wounded, China's Ministry of Public Security said in a statement on its website. The boat, which had five cr ... read more

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