Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Somali Pirates Fighting Warships?

An unconfirmed report: Somali pirates, warship clash kills one, injuries 3 in Mudug region
Confrontation between well armored Somali pirates and foreign warships broke out around the coast of Hobyo district, a stronghold of the pirates in Mudug region of north Somalia according to witnesses.

Mohamed Ali, one of the residents of Hobyo district said that the fighting between the pirates and naval forces started as more forces with their warship attacked pirates based around Hobyo district on Monday morning adding that the wounded people were fishers patrolling in the areas where the clash happened.

“Where the clash started was about 30 kilometers to the coast of Hobyo. So one pirate was killed and three fishermen were wounded during the fire exchange between the pirates and forces of the warships who attacked the pirates,” said one of the residents of Honyo district.
Is this the same event? - EU denies role in Somalia helicopter clash
The European Union's anti-piracy mission on Monday denied that one of its helicopters was involved in a clash with Somali pirates in which four people were killed.

Residents in the village of Labad on Somalia's northern coast said pirates had shot at a military helicopter on Sunday night, which returned fire killing at least four people.

"That helicopter does not belong to EU NAVFOR," Lieutenant Colonel Per Klingvall, spokesman for the EU naval force, told AFP.

"We have not heard of any incident like this from other task forces," he said, referring to US and NATO operations in the waters around the lawless Horn of Africa country.

Abdi Yare, a pirate leader, said the helicopter fired one missile in response to the shooting, killing four people including fishermen.

The incident was confirmed to AFP by elders in Labad.

"The pirates were preparing to go for an attack when the chopper spotted them," said Abdulaziz Moalim Ahmed.

Another elder said the helicopter fired a missile after pirates shot at it.


  1. Anonymous3:33 PM

    I'm obviously not the first to advocate this, but the only way to stop this Somali piracy is to take two actions:
    1) Announce that under no circumstances will any attempt be made to capture pirates intercepted by naval forces in the act of capturing or fleeing a failed ship capture. Naval forces will fire and sink the pirate vessel. No attempt will be made to recover vessel occupants.

    2) And this pushes the envelope even further: Announce that any fishing vessel (or small boat involved in other off-shore activities) where the crew is observed to be in possession of fire arms will be assumed to be engaged in piracy and will be subjected to policy #1. You don't need assault rifles or RPGs to fish.

  2. There are a few flaws in your ideas, A:

    To your first proposal, it has the potential to make pirates more violent in their actions. If they know they will be killed for engaging in their activities, it likely they will show no quarter themselves, so to speak, thus endangering even further the lives of mariners.

    Secondly,the arbitrary killing of suspected criminals flies in the face of what civilized nations are based upon - law and order. Shooting first with no questions asked draws us down to their level. We're better than that and have to play by the rule of law if we are to count ourselves democracies.

    Thirdly, there is always the risk that their will be prisoners among those on a pirate vessel. Remember when the Indian navy shot up a suspected pirate mothership, only to later discover it was a hijacked Thai fishing vessel? Most of the Thais were killed in that incident.

    As to your second point, how would you deal with a yacht or pleasure boat with a shotgun or small arm aboard? Let alone an Asian fishing vessel with weapons meant to prevent pirates from attacking. There are numerous small craft around the world that keep a weapon aboard for defensive purposes. I'm not saying it's right, but it happens.