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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Somali Pirates: When Canadians Attack

From here.

Canada releases video of night attack on Somali pirates who were trying to hijack a Norwegian cargo ship.

Canadian sailors apprehended a band of Somali pirates at gunpoint early yesterday morning after a seven-hour pursuit across the Gulf of Aden, much of it under the cover of night.

HMCS Winnipeg, sailing off the Horn of Africa as part of a NATO-led anti-piracy mission, was escort a United Nations food shipment when it happened on a skiff carrying seven bandits attempting to hijack the MV Front Ardenne, an 80,000-tonne tanker from Norway.

The Somalis ignored warning shots fired by a Canadian naval helicopter and fled the scene. HMCS Winnipeg, led by Commander Craig Baines, left the food shipment to other NATO vessels and gave chase.

An American ship also joined the pursuit. It was the Canadians who got to the pirates first.

As darkness fell, Cdr. Baines cut the lights and caught up with the smaller vessel by stealth. After firing another flurry of warning shots, sailors boarded the pirate craft, recovering a rocket-propelled grenade round.

"We blocked their path," Michael McWhinnie, a spokesman for HMCS Winnipeg, told the Reuters news agency.

"We were faster and surprisingly more manoeuvrable than the pirate skiff."

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