September 8, 2009
German Navy kills pirate suspect
A Somali pirate suspect died yesterday after the skiff he was in ignored repeated warnings to stop.
The skiff, with five armed individuals aboard, was in the Gulf of Aden just south of Al Mukalla. The German warship Brandenburg, attached to EU NAVFOR, launched a helicopter that observed, and filmed, the skiff's crew throwing ladders and weapons overboard. The skiff was ordered to stop but continued on at speed. The EU NAVFOR warship, through an interpreter, exhorted the skiff to stop but the skiff continued. A statement from EU NAVOR says that "further warning shots were fired across the bow, the skiff stopped and a team boarded the skiff from a RHIB where weaponry was found. One of the five suspected pirates was wounded in the incident and although he received medical treatment onboard Brandenburg, was later pronounced dead."
A Bundeswehr release, however, says that EUNAVOR gave permission to fire into the body of the skiff to impair its maneuverability and that the individual was gravely wounded in that round of shots and died despite receiving medical help. Here's the statement in German:
"Nachdem die Piraterieverdächtigen auf wiederholte Warnhinweise und Warnschüsse nicht reagierten, hat der Force Commander EU NAVFOR ATALANTA die Erlaubnis zum Schußwaffengebrauch auf den Bootskörper - ohne das Boot manövrierunfähig zu machen - gemäß den Einsatzregeln erteilt. Im Rahmen der Schussabgabe wurde ein Insasse des Skiffs schwer verletzt und verstarb trotz unmittelbarer medizinischer Hilfeleistung."