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  • When Will They Learn?
    Posted by Christina Mackenzie 5:06 PM on Oct 07, 2009

    Pirates last night attacked the Somme, the 157.2 metre long flagship of the French Indian Ocean naval force, mistaking it for a merchant ship.

    blog post photo

    The Somme  photo credit: French navy

    Admiral Christophe Prazuck, spokesman for the French armed forces chief of staff, said “the attack occured at about 1:00 a.m. local time some 250 nautical miles (460 kms) off the Somali coast while the Somme was sailing towards the ships of the Atalanta [European anti-piracy force] to refuel them.” He said “the pirates, mistaking the French military ship for a merchant ship in the dark, were on two boats and opened fire with Kalashnikovs.”

    Doubtless surprised at the vigor of the responding fire they did a quick about turn but were chased by the French sailors. One of the two skiffs with five people aboard was stopped by the military but they found nothing aboard: no weapons, no food or drink as it was all thrown overboard. The second skiff got away. The five suspects are now aboard the Somme.

    Tags: ar99, pirates, France

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