April 18, 2009

Brilliant Orange

Get some! It would have cooler had they sunk the mother ship. Or at least told France where they could sink it. Those French, man, hate themselves some pirates.

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Reuters) — Dutch commandos freed 20 Yemeni hostages on Saturday and briefly detained seven pirates who had forced the Yemenis to join them in attacking vessels in the Gulf of Aden, NATO officials said.

The Dutch forces, operating under a NATO antipiracy mission, then released the pirates, a NATO commander said, because NATO has no “detainment policy.”

Meanwhile, gunmen from Somalia seized a Belgian-registered ship and its 10 crew members farther south in the Indian Ocean. A pirate spokesman said the vessel, the Pompei, would be taken to the coast.

Somali sea gangs have captured dozens of ships, taken hundreds of sailors prisoner and made off with millions of dollars in ransoms despite the presence of foreign warships in waters off the Horn of Africa.

Lt. Cmdr. Alexandre Fernandes of NATO said the 20 Yemeni fishermen were rescued after a Dutch Navy frigate on a NATO patrol responded to an assault on a Greek-owned tanker. The tanker had been attacked by pirates firing assault rifles and grenades.

Commandos from the Dutch ship chased the pirates, who were on a small skiff, back to their mother ship, a hijacked Yemeni fishing dhow.

“We have freed the hostages, we have freed the dhow and we have seized the weapons,” Commander Fernandes said, speaking on board the Portuguese warship Corte-Real. “The pirates did not fight, and no gunfire was exchanged.” The Corte-Real is also on a NATO antipiracy mission.