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Pirates Nabbed After Attacking Navy Ship

From the UK’s Times:

Doh! Pirates captured after attacking the wrong ship

Anne Barrowclough

May 4, 2009

From a distance the large ship on the horizon looked like the perfect target, ripe for a successful spot of piracy.

But as the Somali pirates sped toward the vessel sailing near the Seychelles, they were horrified to see two boats and a helicopter set off from their target and launch their own counter-attack.

They had failed to spot, in the dazzling sun, that the ‘merchant ship’ they thought they were intercepting was, in fact, a French naval ship bristling with cannons, radar technology and armed commandos.

When the three pirate boats were spotted heading toward them the frigate Nivose, one of the ships patrolling the region as part of the European Union anti-piracy mission Atalanta, headed into the sun to camouflage its true identity before turning to confront its attackers.

When the boats were close enough, Lieutenant Commander Jean-Marc le Quilliec sent his commandos out on outboards, with a helicopter to provide air support.

The helicopter fired two warning shots to stop the three boats from fleeing and within minutes the 11 pirates had surrendered.

Two of the attack boats were small skiffs which the pirates used as attack vessels and the third was a nine metre (30 foot) mother ship, used to transport supplies such as petrol, water and food.

Only one pirate was left on board the mother ship which had nothing on board except fuel and potates [sic], said Lt Commander le Quilliec.

"He apparently thought the pirates had hijacked us," he said.

The commandos found two Kalashnikov assault rifles on one of the skiffs, ammunition, a rocket-launcher and five grenades.

The 11 captured pirates, some of them very young, were ordered to sit on the deck with their hands on their heads as French forces searched them.

"The guys we catch are getting younger and younger," said one navy soldier. "Look at this one, he can’t be 17."

A French navy spokesman confirmed the capture of 11 pirates.

"The pirates are currently on the Nivose," he said.

"For the moment we don’t have any indication of what the European Union forces want to do with these pirates." …

We wonder if the Times are not making an assumption here when they say the pirates were unaware that this was a military vessel.

After all, it was a French ship.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, May 4th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

14 Responses to “Pirates Nabbed After Attacking Navy Ship”

  1. Liberals Demise says:

    “Jock Lay Blur”

    Must have caught the French between naps and ironing the “Surrender” flags!!

    • GL0120 says:

      Normally I’d agree with you LD but this time is an amazing exception; so far, the French showed that they have more balls than NATO.
      The French captured the pirates and are holding them, NATO merely slaps their hands, says “Bad Pirates” and lets them go on their merry piratical way.
      Of course the EU will probably order their release, unwilling to risk offending the pirates or TCO.

    • Liberals Demise says:

      Didn’t they hand over some pirates lately to the Somali Government?
      To wit I say, “WHAT GOVERNMENT?”

      It is not the Sailor, Airman or Soldier I have a complaint with…..
      ….it is their Cowardice Regime that holds sway here!

  2. heykev says:

    “We wonder if the Times are not making an assumption here when they say the pirates were unaware that this was a military vessel.

    After all, it was a French ship.”

    very very funny Steve!

    Why didn’t they simply sink the boats and let them swim back to shore. It would serve as a real deterrent to these pirates.

    • Enthalpy says:

      heykev, ditto! That is so tacky to say such a thing about the French Navy, but fitting.

    • canary says:

      heykev,excellent idea. I’m even for allowing them life-jackets, so it’s not torture.

  3. proreason says:

    Day 105 and still there are pirates, even after Obamy took a historically courageous and brilliant stand against them.

    Clearly, the pirates must be U.S. military veterans.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, c’mon….Bo-Bo was gonna consult Johnny Depp on how to best deal with pirates, but he had a prior engagement.

  4. Reality Bytes says:

    They’re Not Pirates! They’re kinda like, uh The Somali Coast Guard! At least that’s the way I heard it from Al Sharpton.

    • preparing4theworst says:

      Was that in conjunction with J. Biden and his manual of public speaking??

  5. Colonel1961 says:

    These moronic ‘pirates’ are good for nothing but target practice. Sink every ship – kill every ‘pirate’. Animals…

  6. BillK says:

    In all seriousness, isn’t it refreshing to see it is the French who are taking the lead in the fight against the pirates?

    Recall this from the AP April 12:

    French Troops Attack Somali Pirates After 30 Hostages Freed

    By Angela Doland

    PARIS, April 11 — Helicopter-borne French troops swooped in on Somali pirates Friday after they freed 30 hostages from a yacht, seizing six of the hijackers and recovering sacks of money — apparently ransom paid by the ship’s owners.

    The pirates had boarded the 288-foot French luxury yacht a week ago, capturing its mostly French crew off the coast of Somalia in the Gulf of Aden. Pirates seized more than two dozen vessels off the Somali coast last year.

    Gen. Jean-Louis Georgelin, chief of staff of France’s armed forces, said the pirates released the hostages after negotiating with the ship’s owner. That phase of the operation was calm, with no weapons fired, he said. The hostages were brought to safety and the pirates went ashore.

    After the pirates were on Somali territory, a French attack helicopter chased a vehicle carrying some of them, firing to destroy its engine, the general said. …

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/11/AR2008041103537.html

    Also, two days earlier, as reported by CNN:

    Hostage, 2 pirates killed in French rescue operation

    A French hostage and two pirates died Friday in a rescue operation off Somalia, the French president’s office in Paris said Friday.

    Four hostages, including a child, were freed from the hijacked yacht after almost a week of captivity, Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said.

    The four adults and a child had been held aboard their yacht, the Tanit, since it was seized in the Gulf of Aden on Saturday, the president’s statement said.

    The military made its move after the pirates refused their offers, including one to swap an officer for the mother and child held aboard, and threatened to execute the hostages one-by-one — and because the Tanit was drifting closer to the Somalian coast, the defense ministry said.

    The possibility that the pirates could take their hostages ashore was a red line that prompted the mission. The same red line triggered two successful rescue missions by the French military last year, the ministry said.

    According to French media reports, a special forces unit attacked the hijacked vessel from different directions in two motor-powered rubber boats. The pirates opened fire and the special forces team fired back. …

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/africa/04/10/somalia.france/

    This is quite apparently not the French military of old…

  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    “The commandos found two Kalashnikov assault rifles on one of the skiffs, ammunition, a rocket-launcher and five grenades.”

    A-HAAAAA And they no doubt made their way from K-Mart to Mexico to the coast of Africa and were forced into the hands of these “young, strapping lads” and made to do awful things with them!!!

    If ever there was an argument for gun control…and a ban on assault weapons…this would be it.

    (sarcasm)

  8. wirenut says:

    The French thing is kind of funny. I guess you can’t walk off the battlefield when your surrounded by water. Haw !
    Personally, it’s the old western-euro-white-guy slavery gig. We made them do it. Now my grandchildren are calculating
    how much they will have to send to the U.N.


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