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South Korean special forces clean house on Somali pirate overtaken ship

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  • South Korean special forces clean house on Somali pirate overtaken ship

    http://www.npr.org/2011/01/21/133109...s-in-rare-raid



    South Korean Commandos Battle Pirates In Rare Raid

    South Korean special forces launched a bold rescue mission on a hijacked vessel in the Arabian Sea at dawn Friday, killing eight Somali pirates but saving all 21 crew members.

    The top-secret operation reportedly lasted about five hours, and photographs from the raid show commandos crouching on the deck of the Samho Jewelry, which was captured by pirates on Jan. 15. Commandos scrambled up a ladder onto the ship, aboard which the pirates were armed with AK assault rifles and antitank missiles. A South Korean destroyer and hovering Lynx helicopter provided covering fire.

    Pockmarks from artillery fire blanketed the ship's bridge. One of the hostages was wounded — the captain suffered a gunshot wound — but all were alive in a remarkable ending for a risky rescue.

    Five Somali pirates were captured alive during the raid.

    A wife of one of the South Korean crew cried in gratitude as the weeklong hijacking came to an end. "Family members couldn't sleep or eat well and prayed for a safe return. I am very relieved," she said, according to Yonhap news agency.

    South Korean President Lee Myung-bak called the operation "perfect," and analysts said he likely will win political points for taking such an aggressive stance. Lee and his administration took heat in November after North Korea shelled a South-held border island, killing four people. Critics said the military's response was too slow and soft.

    "We will not tolerate any behavior that threatens the lives and safety of our people in the future," Lee said in a brief televised statement.

    Friday's operation was unprecedented for South Korea, which has been growing increasingly concerned about the threat from pirates who have long tormented shipping in the waters between Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

    It also marked the first rescue operation by a South Korean navy vessel that has been deployed in the Gulf of Aden to help fight piracy since 2009. South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said the destroyer was accompanying the vessel to a safe area; it didn't elaborate.

    "This operation demonstrated our government's strong will to never negotiate with pirates," Lt. Gen. Lee Sung-ho said.

    Other countries' special forces have launched several raids to rescue pirated ships in the past few months, but as soon as they were assured — and never before they confirmed — that the crew was locked in a safe room, commonly referred to as a "citadel."

    The raid on the Samho Jewelry in waters between Oman and Africa was rare because it happened a week after the Somali attackers seized the 11,500-ton chemical carrier as it was sailing from the United Arab Emirates to Sri Lanka.

    Militaries are usually reluctant to launch such raids because of the risk of harm to hostages. A French rescue in 2009 that came two days after a sailboat was taken left one hostage dead.

    Countries have different criteria for deciding whether to launch raids, said Graeme Gibbon-Brooks, the head of Dryad Maritime Intelligence, which provides information about piracy to shipping companies. Some countries are aggressive, but others consider that the risk of hostages being caught in a crossfire is greater than the risk of waiting out the hijackers.

    But Gibbon-Brooks said it's unlikely the pirates would try to retaliate by harming other crews.

    That "would be spectacularly unwise. Somalis are known for being good business people, and I think that that would lead to very a quick collapse of their business model," he said.

    Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, during which time piracy has flourished off its coast, sometimes yielding multimillion-dollar ransoms. The ransoms the pirates get are among the few sources of income for small businesses that supply the pirates with food and other goods.

    The Bahrain-based U.S. 5th Fleet referred all questions to South Korea, although it said the U.S. Navy was aware of the rescue. Samho Shipping did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

    The Samho Jewelry was the second vessel from South Korea-based Samho Shipping to be hijacked in the past several months.

    In November, Somali pirates freed the supertanker Samho Dream and its 24 crew — five South Koreans and 19 Filipinos — after seven months of captivity.

    In April 2009, a French navy commando team stormed the yacht Tanit. The shootout killed two pirates and one French hostage and freed four French citizens. The order for the rescue came after the pirates threatened to kill the hostages.

    In the same year, U.S. navy snipers also shot three pirates who were holding an American captain hostage in a lifeboat after they had abandoned a larger ship, the Maersk Alabama.

  • #2
    Good, that's what needs to happen.

    Comment


    • #3
      Good for SK. So now we've got South Korea, France, Russia, and of course the US that will not play the pirates game. I wonder how many countries have to get fed up before the pirates "business model" quits working.

      PIRACY IS NOT A BUSINESS! It's a crime at best and usually an act of war.
      There are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those that believe in the moon landing and those that don't.
      http://unistat76.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        One would think that the lose- lose proposition of dying in a hail of special operations gunfire and never getting a ransom would make their "business" obsolete. On a side note you know that these SK personnel were probably elated that they were allowed to defend their countrymen in light of their government's cowering to NK.
        Last edited by BrickCop; 01-21-2011, 10:52 PM.
        Disclaimer: The writer does not represent any organization, employer, entity or other individual. The first amendment protected views/commentary/opinions/satire expressed are those only of the writer. In the case of a sarcastic, facetious, nonsensical, stirring-the-pot, controversial or devil's advocate-type post, the views expressed may not even reflect those of the writer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Although I applaud the raid, I don't expect it to have much deterrent effect. It is analogous to fighting the war against drugs by going after street dealers.

          Somalis have a short life expectancy anyway, and few real options for making money. We need to target the financiers of these acts of piracy.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

          Comment


          • #6
            Awesome, If there's one thing I learned from being stationed in SK. Dont F#@k with the ROK marines.
            Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by DAL View Post
              Although I applaud the raid, I don't expect it to have much deterrent effect. It is analogous to fighting the war against drugs by going after street dealers.

              Somalis have a short life expectancy anyway, and few real options for making money. We need to target the financiers of these acts of piracy.
              Ok smarty pants. Where do you think would be a good place to start collecting information to find the financiers?
              Whitechapel - Hate Creation

              Comment


              • #8
                where ever the jdam falls on mog......good job SK, now...just do that to NK and mr. kims crew
                dubbed code name: Alien #69

                Comment


                • #9

                  Too bad they ended up with some pirates still alive, but good job for the ROK soldiers. Those guys don't mess around!

                  Until the situation becomes bleak enough for the pirates that the risk outweighs the potential reward, expect more attacks on defenseless vessels. IF - and it is a huge IF - these attacks are to be stopped, it will require several small pirate craft to be cut into shreds by .50-caliber machine gun fire. Sad, but that is just the way it is. This "piracy" is not a business, but rather an act of war.

                  The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

                  The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

                  ------------------------------------------------

                  "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Although I applaud the raid, I don't expect it to have much deterrent effect. It is analogous to fighting the war against drugs by going after street dealers.

                    Somalis have a short life expectancy anyway, and few real options for making money. We need to target the financiers of these acts of piracy.
                    Oh I agree. That is why the various countries and shipping coporations need to quit playing the game and treating it like a business transaction. Haven't they ever seen Die Hard? The dude that tries to negotiate like it's a business deal gets shot.
                    There are basically two kinds of people in this world. Those that believe in the moon landing and those that don't.
                    http://unistat76.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by SinePari View Post
                      Ok smarty pants. Where do you think would be a good place to start collecting information to find the financiers?
                      I believe we already have quite a bit of it, and our intelligence agencies are collecting more.
                      Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
                      Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        It's a shame that legally owned firearms are not permitted in so many ports. Humans deserve the right to defend themselves, especially on dangerous jobs, and especially around certain areas in west Africa.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You, too, can hunt pirates... a nice luxury vacation.

                          http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/payi...nting-cruises/

                          (not for real)
                          Last edited by Resq14; 01-22-2011, 01:05 PM.
                          All Gave Some - Some Gave All

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Resq14 View Post
                            You, too, can hunt pirates... a nice luxury vacation.

                            http://matadornetwork.com/pulse/payi...nting-cruises/
                            haha wow...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by DAL View Post
                              I believe we already have quite a bit of it, and our intelligence agencies are collecting more.
                              C'mon, work with me here. Where do you think information (it's not intelligence yet) comes from? If you're being facetious, just placate me and post an intelligent answer.
                              Whitechapel - Hate Creation

                              Comment

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