Piracy Update, 29 June, 2011

Somalia’s “Transitional Federal Government” (TFG) has confiscated $3.6M in ransom intended to free two ships and arrested the security team transporting the money.

They are not targeting pirates, but the US is apparently operating aircraft against targets in Somalia. “For the second time in four days, and for the third time since April, the United States has conducted an airstrike in Somalia….The key point here is that all of these attacks are apparently being conducted by helicopter, all of them are being done at night, and all of them appear to be well planned surgical strikes against Al Shabab targets in southern Somalia.”

The Dutch have released a video of their forces freeing an Iranian Dhow, that had been used as a mother ship, on 2 April 2011. There are several remarkable aspects to this operation. Pirates opened fire on the two RHIBs and the frigate. Snipers on the frigate using .50 cal. rifles and crews on the two RHIBs returned fire killing two pirates and wounding others. Ten pirates attempted to escape in a skiff but were captured. Another vessel under pirate control attempted to intervene, but was driven off by warning shots from the frigate’s 5″ gun. Sixteen pirates were taken into custody and sixteen hostages freed. Earlier report here.