EU Carries Out Strikes on Somali Pirates
he European Union naval force patrolling the Indian Ocean on Tuesday carried out its first air strikes against pirate targets on shore, with a pirate reporting that the raid destroyed speed boats, fuel depots and an arms store.
Bile Hussein, a pirate commander, said Tuesday the attack on Handulle village in the Mudug region of Somalia’s central coastline will cause a setback to pirate operations. The village lies about 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Haradheere town, a key pirate lair. There were no reports of deaths in the attack.
Maritime aircraft and attack helicopters took part in the attacks early in the morning on the mainland, an EU spokesman said.
The EU is the main donor to the Somali transitional government. It is also trains Somali army troops, and is reinforcing the navies of five neighboring countries to enable them to counter piracy themselves. The long coastline of war-ravaged Somalia provides a perfect haven for pirate gangs preying on shipping off the East African coast.