Oh the hilarity of pirates and mistaken identity!
A crew of five Somali pirates have been captured after attacking a French naval ship yesterday.
The pirates apparently mistook military refuelling and command vessel La Somme for a commercial carrier, firing rifle shots from skiffs before realising their mistake.
This is the ship they were firing at with rifles:
A French sailor on board La Somme told the UK Times, the pirates are a bit dim if they can’t tell a frigate from a freighter.
I personally agree. More to the point La Somme isn’t just any old French navy ship, it’s the base for the entire anti-pirate operating in the region. As the Times report,
With a crew of 170 and under the orders of an admiral, La Somme commands French air, sea and land forces in the combined US and European campaign against piracy and terrorism in the region. The vessel supplies ships and aircraft and has been the base for French commando operations to free hostages from pirates over the past two years.
It’s the mother ship.
The Christian Science Monitor‘s “Top 5 Blunders of Somali Pirates” illustrates perfectly why these pirates need to know their enemies a little better. Perhaps also up the weapon arsenal? This is my favourite pirate article ever.
While the BBC have the interactive pirate map thing going, the Times have to be the best commentators on Somali piracy. They have good quality in-depth coverage often quoting international shipping organisations and various navies.
Most other news sites have just rehashed the AP wire story. Boring.