Coalition forces in hunt for pirate ship off Somalia
Sep 11, 2007
A sea hunt was underway early last week for a pirate mother ship which is thought to be used to launch attacks on shipping passing the Somali coast.
Armed with a description of the vessel, the search was being undertaken by ships of the US-led naval coalition force operating off the Somali coast, according to Lieut Vidaine Bojeau, deputy commander of the French naval ship FNS COMMANDANT BLAISON.
Lt Bojeau said it was believed the vessel was the same that had been used to attack commercial vessels in recent months. She said a description of the vessel had been obtained from seafarers who had come under attack but managed to escape.
A NATO task force comprising six ships and led by the USS NORMANDY, a Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser is sailing along the East African coast and will conduct exercises opposite Somalia within the next week or ten days, having completed similar exercises off Cape Point with the South African Navy last week.
One of the NATO ships, the Portuguese frigate ALVARES CABRAL was yesterday paying a visit to the port of Maputo in Mozambique. The Portuguese ship earlier paid a similar visit to Luanda in Angola. Both Angola and Mozambique are former Portuguese colonies and retain strong cultural and economic links with the former colonial power.
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