The European Union Naval Force says private security guards aboard a merchant ship off the coast of East Africa fired on and killed a Somali pirate after a group of pirates attacked their vessel.

EU Naval Force spokesman Cmdr. John Harbour said on Wednesday the killing of the pirate is believed to be the first by a private security team. Merchant ships sailing through pirate—infested waters in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean have increasingly begun putting armed security onboard to thwart pirate attacks.

An EU Naval Force frigate was dispatched to the scene on Tuesday and launched a helicopter that located the pirates. Seven pirates were found, including one who had died from small calibre gunshot wounds. The six remaining pirates were taken into custody.

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