Danish solider 'likely' in 2 pirate hostage deaths

By the Associated Press | July 3, 2012 | 1:40 PM EDT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Military prosecutors say a Danish soldier "very likely" caused the death of two hostages while stopping a pirate vessel off Somalia earlier this year.

Prosecutors say the soldier who opened fire at the hijacked "Jelbut 37" vessel to force it to halt accidentally killed an Iranian and a Pakistani hostage in the process. Prosecutors said Tuesday the soldier would not be prosecuted since anti-pirate operations are inherently fraught with deadly risks.

The Absalon warship intercepted the hijacked fishing boat on Feb. 27, freeing 16 crew members from Iran and Pakistan and capturing 17 pirates.

Piracy has emerged as a major threat to merchant ships in the sea lanes of the Indian Ocean and the Arabian Sea.