Security forces from Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region stormed a hijacked cargo vessel early Thursday and outgunned the pirates holding it after they fatally shot the ship’s Pakistani captain, authorities said.

Authorities decided to try and free the Panama-flagged ship by force after pirates refused pleas to surrender and instead killed the captain, said Said Mohamed Raage, Minister of Marine Transport and Ports in the region.

“We can’t afford letting pirates capture Somali-charted ships. If we don’t act so decisively they will continue hijacking all Somali-bound cargo ships,” Mr. Raage told The Associated Press.

Two officers were wounded during a brief shootout with the pirates and ultimately all seven pirates were detained, he said.

The QSM Dubai had been hijacked early Wednesday in the Gulf of Aden while headed for a port in the breakaway northern region of Somaliland. The crew aboard the ship hailed from Egypt, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Ghana. It had sailed from Brazil and carried goods for both Somaliland and Puntland regions.

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