Spain: Pirates Attack Ship Near Somalia

01/12/2012 10:36 am ET

MADRID -- Spain says pirates have attacked a Spanish navy warship off Somalia, drawing gunfire that reportedly left one dead and prompted a helicopter chase in which six attackers were arrested.

A Defense Ministry official says the assailants may have mistaken the 165-meter (540-foot) ship Patino for a freighter in the attack before dawn Thursday.

The Patino is part of an European Union flotilla fighting piracy in the Indian Ocean.

The ministry said in a statement that the detainees had confirmed a colleague was killed, and his body thrown overboard.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with department rules.

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