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. Heman

    "...under Operation ATALANTA, which began in December 2008..."

    They spelled Atlanta wrong.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric

      It's not the city in Georgia, and is the correct spelling for the EU mission.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Jag

      ATALANTA doesn't refer to the city in Georgia

      May 15, 2012 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • OKC

      That is the Greek Goddess....goober

      May 15, 2012 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • jay

      "ATALANTA" greek goddess of the hunt...

      May 15, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. Jack Skellington

    Warmongers!

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • TheThinker

      And... loving it!

      May 15, 2012 at 11:58 am | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      Idiot!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • AlanMichael

      What do you suggest be done about the priates? Anyone can yell Warmonger, but that's not a solution, I would like to hear it.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • serveJBR

      paraphrase JS MILL- "...the only thing worse than a war monger is someone who sits back and does nothing but complain and BENEFIT from other sacrifice" Of course, war is the ultimate evil failure, but is almost always the result of selfish criminal activity that was not preempted. Cost too high? For sure. But again, cost even more too-high doing nothing? Almost always. Ask Stalin, Hitler, Mao etc (if U see them) how easy it was to lie, kill, cheat and walk all over the paralyzed, fearful masses.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • C Class

      Who? The Pirates?

      May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beauvice

      Any man who sails under a pirate banner gets just what he deserves: a short drop, and a sudden stop.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captin Tony

      War is essential for the development of a country.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Jack Skellington

    Warmongers!!!!

    May 15, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Ash Cloud

      Hey Jack Skellington. How's about you put your wimpy butt in a dingy off the coast of Somalia and then we can see what you think about warmongers!

      May 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Speedster

    Saying that hurting the pirates is helping the fishermen in Somalia is a misleading concept. The pirates are fisherman who's fish stocks have been gutted by foriegn fishing vessels taking advantage of no government to enforce coastal boundaries off the Coast.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:18 am | Report abuse |
    • jOHN

      Yep, what you say is true.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Ron

      Saying these pirates are fishermen is bull crap, they are just criminals and low lifes who found a quick way to make money, Didn't you see the special where it shows how they live? Like rich criminals! They don't help their people! Just a fancy lifestyle! They are criminals and should be treated as such! Its about time something was done about them! I never could understand that bullsh-t law that says freighters can't carry arms to defend themselves! What do they think? A freighter with 5 guns is going to attack a country?? This world definately has some bulls–t laws!!!!

      May 15, 2012 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
    • ZMEEKER

      Got any evidence that that is the case ?

      May 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Babykitty

      Yeah, they're the real victims. Or maybe they are genetically part of an extremely violent and unreasonable people.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  5. brad1001

    I say the best way to deal with these pirates is to shoot their boats out from under them and let them swim for shore. They assume that risk when they try to ply their trade.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:30 am | Report abuse |
    • OKC

      Thank you.....sounds like an effective plan to me.

      May 15, 2012 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. RW

    Atalanta is a Greek Goddess who grew up in the wilderness and became a fierce hunter.

    May 15, 2012 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. flossmore

    Blow the skinnies out of the water period! Whats not to understand about that!

    May 15, 2012 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  8. TheThinker

    The only problem I see is that one bomb costs more than three of their lousy little pirate-skiffs.
    ... and if we want to help the fishermen, well, the first thing the pirates will do is to steal the fishermen's boats.

    The solution is not to destroy empty boats, but to destroy the boat + pirates out at sea. The most I'd be willing to compromise is to maybe... MAYBE... send a rescue copter.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Emigdio

      Or an Apache.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. down up down

    You reap what you sow. The pirates are criminals, punish them as such.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AlanMichael

    It's about time.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jamison

    Before these pirates quit, Somalia needs to be stabilized and provide meaningful jobs for all its people. Otherwise this will just continue.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • bigdumbdinosaur

      Well, why don't you just rush right over there and take care of it.

      May 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Swins

    All that will happen is the pirates will steal boats of the fishermen. Good going EU. You have to KILL the pirates.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. jacksparrow

    I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request...

    May 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  14. jacksparrow

    Tis bad luck to be talkin' 'bout pirates cap'n...

    May 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. James

    Good luck, but the second they pull out, the pirates will likely come back.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captin Tony

      Premature withdraw is always seen as a weakness.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
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