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Africa Horn
Somalis say U.S. fired first in high-seas gunbattle
A suspected pirate pilots a skiff off Somalia on Saturday in a photograph provided by the U.S. Navy.
Somali militiamen who skirmished with U.S. Navy vessels claimed Sunday they did not fire the first shot and that they had been patrolling Somali waters to stop illegal fishing vessels.
"We wuz just sailin' along, mindin' our own bidniz..."
On Saturday, two U.S. Navy ships exchanged gunfire with suspected pirates off the coast of Somalia, killing one suspect and wounding five others.
"You may fire when ready, [KABANG!] Gridley!"
It said that the incident took place on international waters and the Navy had taken 12 suspects, including the wounded, into custody after the gunbattle.
"Clap 'em in irons, [CLANK!] Mr. Gridley!"
Saleban Aadan Barqad, a spokesman for the militias, confirmed the casualties Sunday to The Associated Press. He said that in total 27 Somali militiamen had been patrolling off the Somali coast before the gunbattle. Fourteen returned to shore safely, Barqad said on two-way radio from the central Somali town of Harardhere. The U.S. Navy opened fire first on the Somali militiamen's small utility boat, which was towing a pair of skiffs, said Barqad.
"Hmmm... Could be honest militiamen, patrolling the Somali coast, eh, Gridley?"
"They're flyin' the jolly roger, sir!"
"I was making a joke, Gridley!"
"Heh heh. Very funny, sir! A whiff of grapeshot, perhaps?"
His statement contradicted U.S. claims that the Navy vessels were fired upon. Barqad said that the boat caught fire, but did not explain how.
"Mahmoud! Don't smoke in the [BANG! BANG! BANGETYBANGETYBANG!] ammunition locker..."
The militiamen, "were in an operation to protect the country's sea resources from illicit exploitation by foreign vessels," Barqad said. Geraad Mohamud, also from the same militia group, threatened that they would kill any hostage they capture and that they would attack any ship unlawfully plying Somali waters unless their men were released.
"Mahmoud! Go capture some hostages so we can kill them! And put that cigar out!"
See, we militia are the real protectors of the Somali people. Kinda like that Sadr guy in Iraq, ya know? Now if the damned imperialist Merkins would just go away we could continue to rape and pillage and extort protect our fellow countrymen with impunity in peace and safety
Posted by:Fred

#21  Steve Martin as INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU > "Stupid Amercaines, don't you know the pirates are sexy"!?
Posted by: JosephMendiola   2006-03-19 20:18  

#20  Damn! its such a shame all the USnavy poisonous dart firing remote controled dolphins were washed away by hurricane catriona, i can see a use for them off the somali coast. Wheres my tinfoil hat i need to paint a skull and crossbones on it.
Posted by: pihkalbadger   2006-03-19 19:33  

#19  We shoulda used the tiny sea-going robots against them.
Posted by: Spavick Clomort6573   2006-03-19 18:17  

#18  We fired first?


'Bout damn time.
Posted by: Barbara Skolaut   2006-03-19 17:56  

#17  5' gun is overkill. Missiles are way overkill.

If initial shots were fired, it would be by machine gun. SOP used to be (don't know if it still is) some across the bow, then walk rounds up the ship's wake if it didn't heave-to.
Posted by: Pappy   2006-03-19 16:36  

#16  I take it they didn't use the 5" guns both of those ships are equipped with?

It was a CG and a DDG being attacked. They both have not only 5" guns, but standard missiles.
Posted by: Phil   2006-03-19 15:51  

#15  They are all still alive? Oh noes. We need to quit taking prisoners. One captured, 25 dead is a better deal.
Posted by: SPoD   2006-03-19 15:26  

#14  "You may fire when ready, [KABANG!] Gridley!"

Ima worried about Fred.

"[KABANG!] You may fire when ready, Gridley!"
Posted by: 6   2006-03-19 15:05  

#13  Good shootin?

They only killed one and wounded 12. It should have been 1 capured 26 killed.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 14:48  

#12  Check out photo #2 in the series Ed notes.

The bastards put a bullet pock-mark on the Gonzalez.

That means a couple of ordinary seamen will be out there tomorrow scraping and painting, scraping and painting. They at least will be ready to turn the 12 prisoners into chum.
Posted by: Steve White   2006-03-19 14:42  

#11  Somalis say U.S. fired first ...

So did Hans Solo.
Posted by: DMFD   2006-03-19 14:20  

#10  The US Navy shot first? SO WHAT?? I say good shootin. A skiff starts at you and the men on board are armed, what shoud you do? Wait until the boat detonates or fires on the US ship? This is not hollywood, first one to shoot lives, second one to shoot dies. They are lucky they're not shark food and not reported.
Posted by: 49 Pan   2006-03-19 14:12  

#9  Depends upon what you mean by "international waters"... They don't appear to be equipped to know where the hell they are, LOL.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that Somali waters are among the most densely shark-infested on the entire planet. Surely that factoid indicates that their "resources" as safe from any random pillaging, LOL.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 13:41  

#8  If they were in international waters, they weren't patrolling Somali waters, were they?
Posted by: Robert Crawford   2006-03-19 13:36  

#7   "The militiamen were in an operation to protect the country's sea resources from illicit exploitation by foreign vessels,"

That is laugh-out-loud funny! For sure, you don't want the likes of Glomar Explorer hoovering up Somali manganese nodules off the sea floor.
Posted by: SteveS   2006-03-19 12:50  

#6  Actually, there is a good chance the US fired the first shot, but it would have been a warning shot to signal the vessel to stop for inspection, after it ignored more subtle signals - like radio, flag, bullhorn, etc. I suppose the militia navy could have been "protecting the country's sea resources" - if you define 'sea resources' as sea 'turf' for their proprietory pirate operations.
It's all about spin.
Posted by: Glenmore   2006-03-19 12:32  

#5  Loved the first one in the sequence, LOL.
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 12:23  

#4  That's a before photo. Here are after photos.
Posted by: ed   2006-03-19 12:14  


Commentary... hilarious... *pant* *gasp*
Posted by: DarthVader   2006-03-19 12:09  

#2  ROFL!

Did you photoshop that picture to make them into ninja characters? Or was it done by DOD to "protect their identities"? LOL. Sometimes I have to wonder about how everyone demands, and usually receives, US-style "rights" without a second thought, in foreign lands where such things do not exist. And never will. :)
Posted by: Griper Phulet7709   2006-03-19 11:51  

#1  That's a long way from shore to be needing those smaller boats for anything other than chase/attack boats. And the weapons confirm the purpose. So I don't really care who fired first or whether it was 25 miles or 10 miles -- interrogate the pirates, have a proper and speedy military trial on board, and then execute them all, returning them to the sea.
Posted by: Darrell   2006-03-19 11:51