maritime piracy

A merchant ship attacked. Pirate groups in the area (update)

The whaler near the Somali coast (credit: EUNAVFOR Atalanta)
The whaler near the Somali coast (credit: EUNAVFOR Atalanta)

(BRUSSELS2, exclusive) A merchant ship – a chemical tanker flying the flag of Hong Kong, leaving from Saudi Arabia and heading towards Mozambique – was attacked this Wednesday morning (November 6), at daybreak in the middle of the Indian Ocean between Zanzibar and the Seychelles.

Action of private guards

The private security guards had to shoot their attackers – 5 of them – to keep them away. The attackers returned fire, according to anti-piracy forces deployed in the Indian Ocean. No injuries to report, specifies a press officer contacted by B2. Means (aerial/naval) were used to “close the area” and identify suspected pirates.

The Niedersachsen in “disrupted” mode

This is not an isolated fact. According to our information, the German navy ship, Niedersachsen (F-208), which is participating in the European operation EUNavfor Atalanta, “foiled” another group of pirates who were about to go “fishing” on Tuesday ( November 5). In terms of fishing, the whaler towing a skiff had on board around ten men, more than 10 barrels of fuel and, above all, two long ladders. Equipment more commonly used to attack a ship than to catch fish!

The pirates swing a ladder into the sea (credit: Eunavfor Atalanta)
The pirates swing a ladder into the sea (credit: Eunavfor Atalanta)

It swings into the sea…

As the German frigate approached, the suspects immediately threw their ladders into the water – as shown in one of the photos taken (red frame). We counted several people who were present on the beach to come and help the apprentice pirates drag their boat onto the beach... The FGS Niedersachsen continued to monitor the beach, but it was quickly deserted, reports the HQ Atalanta.

(Update) Information completed on November 7 with information from Atalanta HQ

To be continued (on the Club): Extend Atalanta: until when, with what mandate?

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).