European Union forces attack pirate targets on Somali shore
An armed pirate keeps watch along the coastline at Hobyo town, northeastern Somalia, in 2010.
May 15th, 2012
07:01 AM ET

European Union forces attack pirate targets on Somali shore

European Union naval forces on Tuesday struck Somali pirate targets on the coast of the country in the first raids by the European force on the Somali mainland.

“We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates’ efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows," Rear Adm. Duncan Potts, operational commander of the force, said in a statement.

Several pirate attack skiffs, the small boats pirates use to attack merchant vessels in the open ocean, were destroyed in the raid, said Timo Lange, media officer at the naval force's headquarters in England.

No Somalis were injured in the raid, which was conducted entirely by air, the force's statement said.

"The local Somali people and fishermen – many of whom have suffered so much because of piracy in the region, can be reassured that our focus was on known pirate supplies and will remain so in the future," Potts said in the statement.

On March 23, the Council of the European Union said the naval force would be permitted to attack pirate installations on shore.

The force currently has nine warships and five maritime patrol aircraft operating off Somalia under Operation ATALANTA, which began in December 2008.

In April, the International Maritime Bureau reported that pirate attacks off Somalia had decreased dramatically during the first quarter of the year as compared to a year earlier.

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Filed under: Pirates • Somalia
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. jj

    Where's Captain Jack Sparrow when you need him?

    May 15, 2012 at 8:34 am | Report abuse |
  2. Tebojockey

    This makes me very, very happy. I would also like to see hunting trips organized for people to go after these jerkwater punks. I simply cannot believe that the whole world has not dumped on them from a great height for so many years.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:40 am | Report abuse |
  3. Johnny America

    These aren't pirates, they are on land. That makes them regular african thugs. I hope many of them died.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Ageis3

      I think the article said no Somalis were killed.

      May 15, 2012 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  4. know hunger

    The EU has its own navy now? After the EU breaks up it will be renamed German navy.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • cedaly1968

      I was just thinking the same thing... when did the EU get their own military?

      May 15, 2012 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "when did the EU get their own military?"

      a few years now. something like 27 country members make up the forces.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • skeiron

      The EU has no own navy, it just asks its members to provide warships and soldiers for anti-piracy or peacekeeping missions, just like the NATO or the UN.

      Currently the EUNAVFOR consists out of:

      French Navy:
      FS Marne (replenishment oiler)
      FS Nivose (frigate)
      FS Guepratte (frigate)
      Atlantique 2 (airplane)

      Spanish Navy:
      ESPS Infanta Elena (corvette)
      ESPS Reina Sofia (frigate)
      CASA CN-235 (airplane)

      German Navy:
      FGS Berlin (replenishment oiler)
      P-3C CUP ORION (airplane)

      Portuguese Navy:
      NRP Corte Reale (frigate)

      Dutch Navy:
      HNLMS Van Amstel (frigate)

      Italian Navy:
      ITS Scirocco (frigate)

      Two Fairchild sw3 Merlin (airplanes)

      Plus of course a bunch of helicopters aboard the ships.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      Ah –
      A military run by committee, how efficient.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Tex71

    A pirate without a skiff is like a vandal without a spray can.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
  6. marco

    This is great news. Now go hit 'em again.

    May 15, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  7. Rav

    ABOUT time.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. Bill

    It's about time someone decided to deal with these hoodlums! Perhaps some of the merchant lines or shipping companies would be willing to provide "tangible support" to efforts like this.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mojo

    Better late than never! Keep it up and let them know that piracy is a highly risky profession.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  10. Antje

    Better now than never. It is how piracy was eradicated from the Mediterrannee a long time ago. Except from Greece it seems. It should be standard to machine-gun all which are not obvious fishermen or trade. And pirates are not trders.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. vatoloke


    May 15, 2012 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
  12. JJMurray

    It's about time someone decided to attack the source.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  13. Orville

    Well, it took long enough. Sure, I´m glad they did it but they should have acted years ago. Seal team 6 has no rival. Taking these thugs out was like shooting fish in a barrel; the Boy Scouts could have done it.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
  14. Pinebelt Bob

    That'll show 'em! Bet we won't be hearing about any pirate attacks for a week or so.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • novel idea

      I like it, take the battle to their land, don't wait until they are out at sea

      May 15, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Mr Dalloway

    Wonder if underwater mines could be beneficial.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
    • thrawn17

      Good idea, except
      1. honest fishermen also use this area,
      2. the skiffs these pirates are using are pretty small. you'd have to spread a lot of mines.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:41 am | Report abuse |
    • bad way to fish

      with underwater mines too much of the shrapnel gets in the fish

      May 15, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
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