Latest pirate outrage

Armed guards aboard an Italian cruise liner were engaged in a 20 minute fire-fight with pirates 600 miles off the Somali coast.

The ship was peppered with holes and windows were smashed as 1,527 passengers and crew dived for cover.

Commander Ciro Pinto of the MSC Melody said six pirates fired at least 200 rounds with assault rifles from their dinghy. The ship at first responded with fire hoses and some chairs were thrown at the would-be boarders. But then guns were issued to Israeli security guards who opened fire.

Eventually the ship was escorted to safety by the Spanish warship Marques de Ensenada, the Times reports.