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. bspurloc

    bout time.....

    May 15, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jimmy

    Gee, ......I guess .they didn't get their due process.
    Just like the drone sad.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Patrick Lewis

      Yeah, those boats sure did have their human rights violated. Did you even read the article? Property used in carrying out piracy was the victim of this attack. And by the way, when you commit piracy in international waters, you sort of give up on that whole "civil rights" idea. Plus, who is supposed to try these people? Their state is utterly powerless and if it wasn't, they wouldn't be able to be PIRATES! If you live by the gun, you are liable to die by one.

      May 15, 2012 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
    • john

      Ah yes, due process ... The same 'process' the pirates give to the vessels/people they attack ... yes , your logic IS SO SAD .

      May 15, 2012 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Cadillacjoe

      You have to put at the end of your post that it was sarcasm. Some people, mainly those who spend their time writing comments after only reading the headline, will not get it.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • due process

      as a liberal makes me tear up to think that terrorist and pirates don't get their day in court, fairness, equality, rights, have we no decency?

      we need more drones

      May 15, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Jake Rockwel

    Awesome... Wipe em out!

    May 15, 2012 at 9:37 am | Report abuse |
  4. Pat

    They just might strike back the EU has already enough problems

    May 15, 2012 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
  5. Dick Hertz

    What a joke.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:44 am | Report abuse |
  6. Kerry

    It's about time something was done about this problem.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  7. 4PUTT

    Why are those mfkrs still alive?

    May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  8. woodofpine


    May 15, 2012 at 9:48 am | Report abuse |
  9. mommajam

    This should have happened a lot sooner.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  10. Roscoe Chait

    Did they get the Black Pearl?

    May 15, 2012 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. 1amazed1

    Its about time

    May 15, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. Agnim

    How about targeting the foreign fishing fleet (INCLUDING EUROPEANS THIEVES) in Somali waters?
    That would have prevented a lot of the need for Somalis to pursue foreign ships in their waters.

    The european criminals eventually lost the previous round of colonialism. They will lose even more badly this time around; because weapons today are more sophisticated and deadly, and the anti-colonial forces are a lot more mobile today. Even europe itself will not be safe.

    May 15, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
  13. Bob R

    The solution to this problem is simple. Look for the sprawling mansions in the region and bomb them. The warlords are directing (and benefiting from) this piracy. Every pirate that is arrested by the EU or the USA tried and then put in jail for 20 years is replaced by 10 more pirates who are poor and know of no other way to make a living. Stop the warlord and you will reduce the piracy.

    May 15, 2012 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • randoid1234

      If you stop the warlord, some other warlord will step in and take his place.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • jqent

      Entirely correct.
      "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," is merely a bit of pious balderdash. The "local people" have no choice but to support the pirates, since local fisheries have been largely ruined by foreigners. Consequently, the "local people's" own fathers and sons are willing participants and a large part of the economy is dependent on piracy.

      May 15, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Ed "Black Beard" Teach

    Wimps, the whole lot. Stick them in the ribs!

    May 15, 2012 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. total non sense

    you see a pirate you kill a pirate..... byt air was a MISTAKE.... ground force should have been used to compeltly destroy the pirate base and make sure all pirates where killled in the most painfull way possible. Each marchant ship should be have a army detachement on board and sink (and kill, any pirate in view).

    May 15, 2012 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • ncoclub

      To John...Please don't use all caps..its rude. And by the way this forum has no spell check. Stick with the issues bubba!!

      May 15, 2012 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
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