Sunday, January 22, 2006

US Navy Captures Pirates

From the BBC:

The US navy says it has captured a number of suspected pirates in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia.

The guided missile destroyer USS Winston S Churchill went in pursuit of a suspect vessel after receiving a report of piracy, the navy said.

When other efforts failed, the Churchill fired warning shots to bring the boat to a halt.

There have been numerous attacks by pirates off Somalia, some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

The US navy's Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain and patrols the Indian Ocean, received reports of "an attempted act of piracy" approximately 50 miles (80km) off the Somali coast on Friday, it said in a statement.


Piracy, including hijackings and hostage-taking, has become common off anarchic Somalia, where there has been no effective central government since 1991.

An attack late last year against a luxury cruise liner was repelled by an ear-splitting acoustic device.

The International Maritime Bureau has already advised ships to stay 150 miles off the Somali coast, much farther than where the reported attack took place. For more on Somalia, check out "Is Somalia Even a Country?" and "Somaliland: Somalia Part II". For more commentary on piracy under international law, hire me. Piracy coverage is also available here.

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