Bad day for pirates of Somalia
The breakdown of the rule of law in Somalia has extended beyond its shores to the sea around it. However the pirates are at a distinct disadvantage when confronted by war ships with superior firepower and armament. The problem remains a force to space issue as it is on land when dealing with raiders who operate in small groups and try to take advantage of the ambiguity as to the time and place of their attack. The key at sea is to stay close to the booty, i.e. the ships that may be attacked.
A pair of American warships battled pirates Tuesday who had seized a tanker off the coast of Somalia, reportedly sinking two pirate vessels and pursuing a hijacked skiff carrying some of the fleeing hijhackers.
The crew of the tanker Golden Mori, which was hijacked Monday night, reportedly fought back and overpowered their attackers, regaining control of the vessel, maritime officials said.
On Sunday, the destroyer USS Porter responded to a distress call from the Golden Mori that it was under attack from two pirate skiffs in international waters off the coast of Somalia near the Socotra islands in the Indian Ocean. The destroyer, on loan to an international task force aimed at stopping piracy and terror in the region, responded with deadly force, sinking both vessels, officials said.
The Porter's sister ship, the USS Arleigh Burke, reportedly was pursuing the escaping hijackers and providing an escort for the Japanese-owned tanker.
Nearly two dozen of the Golden Mori's crew members reportedly were able to fight off the eight gunmen who had seized the vessel late Monday, and the crew was piloting the ship back to the war-battered city's port in Mogadishu, said Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program, which independently monitors piracy in the region.
Piracy off Somalia increased this year after Ethiopian forces backing Somali government troops ousted an Islamic militia in December, said Andrew Mwangura, program coordinator of the Seafarers Assistance Program which independently monitors piracy in the region.