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. jazzerguy

    Some people shouldnt be allowed to reproduce

    May 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CRiL

      Like Europains killing somalies?

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

    Look at that view – they shoud stop blowing things up, and build a casino and hotel.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • andres

      A great idea, but in a different culture. No way that these folks will be able to see beyond their immediate needs so simply it ain't gonna happen

      May 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Steve

    The good people of Pittsburgh are breathing a little easier now

    May 15, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack Be Humble

      Next stop... Orlando!

      May 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ernie Davis

      Especially the good people of Uniontown.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Johnna

    Just make a sporting reality show out of blowing these pirates out of the water. I'm sure it will drive rating through the roof !!

    May 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      I remember a few years back there was a 'reality' show with a group of contractors (para military), and associated film crew, that were trying to protect the fishing rights since the Somali Navy/Shore Patrol were not up to the job.

      Probably decided that saving their lives were more important than keeping up with the producers wishes.
      Of course, the producer didn't agree.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. HangJackSparrowLol

    We need to go back to Rocks and Shoals. That would be fun.

    May 15, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ed

    Wow. A Eurpean offensive with no mention of the US. That's unusual.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      We will supply the Drones.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fletch

    This would not be happening if Slick Willie Clinton had let us finish our job there in '93. But he was too worried about Monica.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fallofthewest

    LOL, pirates! Just because the western powers don't put a jolly roger on their war machines doesn't mean they aren't pirates. The Somalis hijack a couple of merchant ships: the western powers hijack entire countries (and I've heard the Somalis are better to their prisoners too). What a joke Amerika!

    May 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      One man's villian is another's hero. In the end the one who has the most weapons and controls the territory is right. So America is right, don't like it you should have gave your input when the rules were developed a couple thousand years ago. There is a method to ammend the rules but you have to be the last one standing and no one has won that one.

      May 15, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Taint

      Keep dreaming about living in a rich and wonderful world. Oh by the way Mohammed was and always will be a cartoon.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • David

      I guess by "joke" you mean the most powerful nation on Earth. And as for the pirates killing a "couple" of people, your facts are wrong.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. henry

    I don't understand why they didn't do this before? Why are the gov'ts of the world, letting these pirates ply their trade?

    May 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ca Ed

      1. the governments of Europe are more concerned about their home economy
      2. are too wimpy, or smart, to engage in foreign entanglements
      3. don't have military capable of extended engagements
      4. too afraid of their own shadow to really do anything on their own
      5. waiting for someone else to do something.

      May 15, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William

    So the EU can now bomb and shell people? If that is the case than why are we still footing most of the defense bill for NATO?

    May 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tiglath

    Some comeuppance.


    May 15, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  12. VL

    There were no Somalis killed, so EU allows them to stage a out EU !!!

    May 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Rick Springfield

    The only way to ultimately deal with the Somali problem is by radiological war. An atom bomb is the only way to deal with the problem. This is like a virus and you need to hit it with tremendous countermeasures. Somalia is lost forever and cannot be fixed. The nation is 100 percent bad like a rotten apple. Nuclear is the only solution and the world needs to ban together and agree to nuke it.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • andres

      Nukes are really only effective in densely poplulated cities. They would be completely ineffective in Somalia. What are you going to do? Bomb each village.

      If the answer to the world's problems were nukes, it would have happened a long time ago.

      In insane idea on your part, grateful that you are not a decision maker

      May 15, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • sadie456

      IF you are seriously suggesting a nuclear attack on a civilian population to punish them for harboring pirates (who are armed and dangerous), then your mind scares me. You really need to seek help before you feel compelled to act out your sociopathic fantasies.

      May 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mazen

    Attacking pirate targets at the source is an excellent idea.

    May 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  15. firemedic2274

    – Sam Kinison

    May 15, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
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