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May 6, 2010

Pirate killed as oil tanker retaken by Russians

POLITICS - The piracy off the shores of Somalia today took a deadly turn today as Russian commandos retook a seized oil tanker and freed 23 Russian sailors who were being held ransom. 10 Somali pirates were arrested and 1 was killed during the confrontation.

The oil tanker is carrying 86,000 tons of crude oil worth about $50 million USD.

Its become pretty obvious that the larger nations (any which have elite military units at their disposal) are responding to the rampant Somali piracy by keeping several squadrons of commandos in the region for the express purpose of recapturing their oil tankers or helping out allies.

Its practically an excuse for target practice with live targets for the commandos involved. After all how often does the military get to work with live targets who pose such a minute threat? Kill one of them and then get practice taking the rest captive.

Its arguably a good deal for the pirates too. They get captured and sent to a prison where they get food and a bed to sleep in. (Seriously, the economy and anarchy going on in Somalia is so bad that even a Russian prison would feel like heaven.)

In theory Somalia wouldn't be an issue if they had a coast guard patrolling their waters. Since there's no active Somali government who's to stop an international force from doing the job for them? The Americans, British, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Russians, French and every other major player already has warships in the region for the purpose of halting pirates. They could easily take a portion of those ships and create a coast guard like patrol between Somalia and the waters frequented by pirate attacks. Make it a restricted zone for any ship carrying too many people, not enough fish netting and too many guns and then arrest any crew that is obviously not fishermen.

Or at very least take away all their guns and then send the crews back to port.

But this suggestion would require cooperation on the part of various countries and their naval units. Right now the behaviour suggests its every country for itself.

Another solution would be to have soldiers guarding individual ships with orders to fire on any ship that attempts to board an oil tanker without permission. The end goal would be to make it clear piracy is not profitable.

The various governments and companies have made it clear they aren't going to pay ransoms. The logical solution is to stop the problem from happening.

See Also
Oil pirates drown in rough seas
Pirates hijack oil tanker
Korean snipers save ship from pirates

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