28 April 2009

Incident: Russians capture pirates "in the act"

Russian officials announce the capture of 29 Somali pirates caught in the act of attacking a merchant vessel. The "Admiral Panteleyev destroyer received information about an attack on the tanker flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda in the eastern area of the Gulf of Aden on April 28. A warning shot at the attackers failed to stop the pursuit of the merchant prize, so a Russian helicopted fired upon the pirates until the attack ceased. "Twenty-nine pirates are being questioned onboard the Admiral Panteleyev," a government spokesman said. (Kyiv Post, 04/30/09)

The Panteleyev and four other ships are new arrivals to the region.
An unidentified Defense Ministry spokesman told Interfax that it was consulting with the Foreign and Justice ministries on what to do with the 29 prisoners."In any event, the matter will be decided through international channels," the spokesman said, adding that unlike the United States and Britain -- which have handed captured pirates over to Kenya -- Russia does not have a treaty allowing them to do so.
(Moscow Times, 04/30/09)