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The pirates attack… the flagship of Eunavfor (update)

(credit: Eunavfor/ Spanish Navy)

(BRUSSELS2) The SPS Patino had just completed an escort of ships carrying food aid from the World Food Program (WFP/WFP) for Somalia and was leaving the area around the port of Mogadishu in the early hours of the morning (3:30 a.m.), this Thursday (January 12) when he was approached… by a skiff with pirates on board. Those concerned were not satisfied with the approach of the flagship of the European anti-piracy operation Eunavfor Atalanta. Rather determined and reckless, they opened fire with small arms and intended to board. The soldiers responded. The pirates did not let themselves be fooled and continued to fire, forcing the crew to “ carry out a “neutralization” shot””, according to the official version issued by the Spanish ministry. The pirates aboard the skiff began to move away. It was then necessary to use the Patino helicopter to pursue the boat, succeeding in stopping them, not without forceful messages launched by loudspeaker and warning shots. Before surrendering, the occupants of the skiff threw ladders, weapons and barrels of diesel overboard (this is the custom!). A diagram summarizing this action is published by our colleagues ElPais.

1 dead, 5 wounded among the pirates

As a result, 5 of the 6 attackers were injured and two of them treated by the Patino medical team, specifies a press release from Eunavfor. While a seventh was considered dead, having gone overboard during the assault (or more precisely probably during the exchange of fire). None of the Patino's crew were injured during the attack.

The six attackers were arrested on the Patino. " As soon as we receive the relevant notifications, we will act in accordance with the procedure established before the Audiencia Nacional", said the Spanish Ministry of Defense.

(Maj.) The suspects will be translated to Spain and will be transferred there. The Audiencia Nacional confirmed that it would initiate legal proceedings.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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