Russian ship hit in pirate attack

MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia's Transport Ministry says a Russian-operated freighter was attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia but escaped with no injuries to the crew.

The ministry says pirates fired at the Cypriot-owned cargo ship Captain Maslov with grenade launchers and automatic weapons as it headed from Colombo, Sri Lanka, to the Kenyan city of Mombasa on Thursday. It says the attack ignited a fire in a cabin, but the freighter maneuvered away from the pirates' boat.

The ministry says the attack occurred 300 miles (480 kilometers) off Somalia's coast.

On Tuesday, Russia's navy said Russian and British ships repelled a pirate attack on a Danish freighter in the Gulf of Aden. The British military said two suspected pirates were killed in a gunbattle.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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