Somali gunmen fire rocket launchers

Somali pirates opened fire with rocket launchers on a Fred Olsen line cruise ship, carrying more than 1,000 Brits in the Gulf of Aden. The 43,000 ton Balmoral was forced to zig-zag as it tried to avoid being boarded by the gang, The Sun’s Neil Syson reports.

The crew sent up distress flares to alert Royal Navy warships. They also fashioned gun-shaped weapons from lumps of wood in a bid to deter the pirates. Then they ordered the passengers to sit on the floor below decks amid a state of ‘code red’.

The ship which left Dover in mid-February with passengers paying up to #30,000 for a 104 night cruise is now scurrying for the safety of Salalah in Oman. She had been on passage from Jordan to India.