November 9th, 2010
12:58 PM ET

Pirates use hijacked vessel to attack Spanish warship

Somali pirates have used a Japanese-owned freighter they seized in October to stage an attack on a Spanish warship, the European Union’s anti-piracy task force reports.

On Saturday night, pirates aboard the MV Izumi, a Panamanian-flagged vessel they captured on October 10, attacked the SPS Infanta Cristina, a Spanish corvette, as it escorted a ship chartered by the African Union’s peacekeeping mission in Somalia, according to a statement from the European Union Naval Force public affairs office.

As the pirates attacked, the Infanta Cristina placed itself between the Izumi and the AU ship, the MV Petra 1, which was carrying peacekeepers, the statement said.

“The attack was disrupted, and the pirates fled the scene,” the statement said.

No injuries or damage was reported.

The Spanish warship “used only miminal force” to defend itself, EUNAVFOR said, because it was believed the crew of the Izumi was being held hostage aboard the freighter. A EUNAVFOR release after the Izumi was seized said it had a crew of 20 Filipinos.

The Infanta Cristina and the Petra 1 continued to Mombasa, Kenya, after the incident, the statement said.

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Filed under: Crime • Japan • Kenya • Panama • Pirates • Spain
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. history101

    The problem is some companies and countries are PAYING these people. The more ransoms are paid the more hostages will be takes. The Payment of ransom should be ILLEGAL as it (as is VERY OBVIOUS HERE) just means more people will be put in danger. You cannot buy the lives of some by trading the lives of others. Your ONLY response to this should be to kill any and all Pirates. No jail no rendition no release just shoot them. Anything else will just encourage this behavior. Yes it is tough (politically) to do but again history shows us the correct and only path to take is not one of appeasement.

    November 10, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bill Reed

    I'm appalled the civilized world continues to tolerate these pieces of human garbage. Paying ransoms only encouraged continuation of the practice. These animals need to be hunted down and ELIMINATED (aka killed). Once they perceive the risk of losing their lives is a possible consequence, they may find another way to maintain their pathetic existence. A multi-national assault team should give them a deadline to release all vessels held. If they don't, go in and ELIMINATE them.

    November 11, 2010 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. EBJ

    as long as these thugs can get away with doing this they are going to keep on doing it. And where is all the money they have gotten in ransom for all these pirate acts? It sure doesn't seem to be going to their country.

    November 11, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Edumacated

    I wish every Somali pirate article started off with some basic info about Somalia so that we can avoid the same comments about why we don't bomb the ships, why we don't bomb the ports, why don't we just invade, etc.

    I won't go into the history of the Somalia and their decades of violence. But people need to understand a few things. First, the waters that the pirates patrol cover over 2 million square miles. The boats they often use are small skiffs. It's pretty much impossible to just look for and hunt down these pirates. Second, if you invaded the Somali coast you would be fighting several highly armed clans, some of which have affiliations to Al-Qaida, so you know it won't be an easy fight. There is no viable Somali government to help out because currently they have their own daily battles in Mogadishu. These transport ships can't just go around these waters because it would cost them millions in extra fuel costs. They can't hire security forces because of the same cost reasons. Countries aren't paying the ransoms, it's corporations and individuals, and that's because it's either pay or become financially ruined. Besides the AU, no international organization is willing to do much more than send money because they either don't have the resources or the willingness to risk their own soldiers' lives when there's bigger wars going on. These are only some of the issues on Somali piracy. People really need to keep in mind that if there was a simple one sentence solution to this problem that it would've been done already.

    November 11, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Confused

    It was clever of the pirates to use such a low profile, nimble boat to carry out their attack, allowing them to just slip away, leaving security forces with no way to know where they are, or where they go to re-fuel. Even if the ship were 500 feet long, in such a large body of water we’d need to have cameras in space to have a chance of tracking it, and that would only help us if we also had some elaborate communications system capable of warning mariners and notifying security forces. Oh wait…

    November 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |

    They should have sunk the ship & hung the pirates. This is insane.

    November 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Motofreak

    Four letters. USMC.

    November 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mgj

    US Navy Seals. Night vision goggles. Get a few Seals onboard at night. Create a diversion, maybe an attack by a small boat, to get the pirates out of their holes. Fire at will.

    If the pirates learn that we will attack and destroy them, even if they have hostages, this problem will end. If we are too stupid to figure it out, I'm sure the Israelis can teach us. Some hostages may die the first or second time.

    The pirates are not just feeding their families. Their leaders are making millions. Google this: "Somali pirates driving up Kenyan real estate prices". Good capitalists, eh?

    Obama and Napolitano have figured out how to solve the piracy problem. They are letting the Somalis immigrate to the US. Unfortunately, their kids (who are US citizens) are going back to Somalia to learn how to be jihadists. I am convinced that the US is governed by morons.

    November 14, 2010 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. bullet

    It useless to capture the pirate.. because some stupid lawyer will help to defence them..

    December 9, 2010 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
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