Danish army kills four pirates in Gulf of Guinea shootout
Danish military forces on a counter-piracy mission killed four pirates in a shootout in the Gulf of Guinea this week, the Danish Defense Command reported.
Military forces are on board the Danish frigate Esbern Snare, which is currently on a six-month deployment in the Gulf of Guinea to join the international fight against piracy. The helicopter-equipped frigate left Frederikshavn Naval Base in October with around 175 people including the permanent crew, military police, an expanded medical team and a naval special forces detachment.
According to the Defense Command update on Wednesday, the frigate’s crew were alerted to reports of an increased risk of piracy in waters south of Nigeria and sent the ship’s Seahawk helicopter to patrolling the area. Once there, the helicopter crew located “a fast motorboat” with eight suspected pirates in an area where a number of merchant ships were located.
Eventually, Esbern Snare was close enough to send a military team into a RHIB aboard the suspected pirate ship.
“Esbern Snare called on the pirates to stop them so the Danish soldiers could get on board. As the pirates did not react, the Danish forces fired warning shots, cf. their powers. The pirates then opened fire directly on the Danish soldiers. Danish soldiers then reacted in self-defense and responded to pirate fire, ”says the update.
A brief exchange of gunfire ensues and leaves five pirates hit, four of whom are dead. No Danish soldiers were injured.
The eight pirates, including the deceased, were taken aboard the Esbern Snare where the injured was treated for his injuries.
“The interdepartmental working group will deal with what should happen to hackers,” the update said.
The Gulf of Guinea continues to be a global hotspot for piracy and armed robbery against ships and crew abductions.
The Esbern Snare deployment comes after Denmark pledged to send a frigate to the region in March following a call from Danish shipping conglomerate AP Moller-Maersk A / S and industry groups maritime for a more concerted international response. On average, up to 40 Danish-operated ships operate in the region each day, carrying around $ 1.5 billion in goods per year.
This deployment marks the first Danish anti-piracy mission since leaving the Horn of Africa, where it operated from 2008 to 2017.