NATO attack on “pirate lair” frees 34 hostages


From Allied Command Operations:  Earlier this month, NATO counter-piracy forces delivered a severe blow against armed pirates off the coast of Somalia by arresting 34 suspected pirates. The suspected pirates had previously been observed loading up their mother ships and skiffs with fuel and weapons in order to attack merchant ships further out to sea. In a well-planned operation, NATO warships conducted a night-time strike on the known pirate lairs at sea, close to the coast. As well as detaining the 34 suspected pirates, 34 innocent hostages, who had been held by the pirates, were freed unharmed by the NATO forces. …

Speaking after the operation, Rear Admiral Hank Ort, Chief of Staff at NATO’s Maritime HQ in Northwood said, "This operation has shown the pirates that we mean business and will not tolerate their criminal activities. By conducting this operation close to the shore we have been able to deprive some pirates of a safe passage back to their anchorages and deprive others of the opportunity to go out and attack innocent merchant ships. We are pleased with the success of this operation but we are not complacent as we know there is still much work to be done.”  (photo: NATO)

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