Somalia pirates: EU approves attacks on land bases

Rapid

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17487767

The European Union has agreed to expand its mission against Somali pirates, by allowing military forces to attack land targets as well as those at sea.

In a two-year extension of its mission, EU defence ministers agreed warships could target boats and fuel dumps.

The BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner says the move is a significant step-up in operations, but one that also risks escalation.

Up to 10 EU naval ships are currently on patrol off the Horn of Africa.

They have policed shipping routes and protected humanitarian aid since 2008. The extension means they will stay until at least December 2014.

An EU official said the new mandate would allow warships or helicopters to fire at fuel barrels, boats, trucks or other equipment on beaches, according to Agence France-Presse.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters: "The EU plan is to allow attacks on land installations when ships are assaulted at sea," adding that "much care" would be taken to avoid civilian deaths.

A two-decade war has wrecked Somalia, leaving it without a proper government.


The transitional government only controls the capital Mogadishu, while al-Shabab militants, who recently joined with al-Qaeda, hold large swathes of territory.

The EU says the main tasks of the mission are the protection of vessels of the World Food Programme delivering food aid to displaced people in Somalia, and the fight against piracy off the Somali coast.

"Today's important decision extends [Operation] Atalanta's mandate for two more years and allows it to take more robust action on the Somali coast," the EU's foreign policy head Catherine Ashton said in a statement.

The statement said the EU would be working with Somalia's transitional federal government and other Somali organisations to support their fight against piracy from the coastal area.

Brussels also said the Somali government had told the UN secretary general that it accepted its new offer of collaboration.

The statement also said "a budget of 14.9m euros (£12.4m; $19.7m) is provided for the common costs of the prolonged mandate".

In February world leaders agreed to boost support for measures to fight piracy, terrorism and political instability in Somalia, at a conference held in London.

The summit agreed a seven-point plan promising more humanitarian aid, support for African Union peacekeepers and better international co-ordination.

It's about time too.
 

Marauder06

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Finally. Although the total budget they're proposing to fight the terrorists on land is what the pirates earn in like 3 hijacks.
 

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Someone needs to invent an amphibious battle cruise with a bulldozer blade on the front. Then let the captain drink all the tequila he wants and then go drunk driving around Smallya for a day or two while going guns hot at the same time. BOOYA!
 

policemedic

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Someone needs to invent an amphibious battle cruise with a bulldozer blade on the front. Then let the captain drink all the tequila he wants and then go drunk driving around Smallya for a day or two while going guns hot at the same time. BOOYA!

I hear there's an Italian cruise ship captain who's job shopping; he may be a good fit for this!
 

Rapid

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I think the money would be better spent just carpet-bombing the entire coastline. :-"
 

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I think the money would be better spent just carpet-bombing the entire coastline. :-"
Perhaps, but seeing skinnies roll under a blade is much more entertaining. Especially while some tequila drunk Italian cap'n gets his game on. I use to roll up roll up, this ain't no holdup....
 

mike_cos

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Breaking news: " The killing of two Indian fishermen by the naval guards of a merchant ship was a "terrorist act" because they shot 'at unarmed men. "He told the judge C.S. Gopinath High Court of Kerala, according to reports from the site of the local TV Zeenews.The fishermen, he added during the discussion of the petition filed by the owner of EnricaLexie that prompts the release of the tanker, moored in the Indian port of Kochi since they were arrested two Italian Fascists, were killed "without notice" and were "unarmed."The Court has been updated to 27 March, the site always refers Zeenews."

Well well... So we are terrorists...
 
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