NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali pirates may cost world trade $12 billion a year and earn millions of dollars every year in ransom payments, but they are not all dastardly criminal masterminds.
In fact some are outright stupid.
See for example, the six-strong pirate crew of a little fiberglass skiff who on Thursday morning decided to attack a ship just off Mogadishu.
Not just any ship mind you, this was the Patino, the flagship of the "European Union Naval Force Somalia - Operation Atalanta," one of the international navies patrolling off the Somali coast.
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Even to the untrained eye the hulking, gunmetal grey ship bristling with weapons, is pretty obviously not an easy target. But not only did the foolhardy pirates race towards the warship, they even started shooting.
According to one EU press release:
The suspected pirates opened fire with light caliber weapons and tried to board the PATINO. The ship’s force-protection team returned fire in self-defense and the ship’s helicopter was launched.
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The release went on to explain how the pirates quickly realized their mistake, and surrendered:
"The skiff broke off the attack and the men surrendered to the helicopter after throwing their weapons, ladder and fuel barrels overboard.
"Five of the six men who were in the skiff had received injuries, two of which required medical treatment onboard the SPS PATINO."
The arrested men will face prosecution for piracy.