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ARLINGTON, Va. — U.S. Navy sailors provided medical assistance to the crew of a North Korean ship involved with a scuffle with pirates Tuesday off the coast of Somalia, a Navy news release said.

Three members of the North Korean crew who suffered serious injuries were transferred to the Norfolk, Va.-based destroyer USS James E. Williams for treatment, according to the release.

Combined Maritime Force Headquarters in Bahrain got word Tuesday morning that the ship, Dai Hong Dan, was in distress, the news release said. The James Williams came to the ship’s aid and instructed the pirates who had commandeered the vessel to lay down their arms.

After that, the North Korean crew fought the pirates themselves and retook the ship, the news release said.

“Initial reports from the crew are that five pirates were captured and two are dead,” the news release said. “The pirates remain aboard the Dai Hong Dan.”

After retaking their ship, the North Koreans asked the James Williams for medical assistance, and the U.S. ship sent a boarding party including three corpsmen to the Dai Hong Dan, the news release said.At the time of the incident, The ship currently isthe ship was 60 nautical miles northeast of Mogadishu. Ships from the U.S. Navy and other coalition countries have repeatedly come to the aid of mariners attacked by pirates in the waters off Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

In January, the USS Winston S. Churchill apprehended pirates who had taken over a dhow 54 miles off the Somali coast.

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