EU naval force airstrike on Somali pirates destroys equipment


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A Somali pirate says an airstrike by the European Union naval force patrolling the Indian Ocean has destroyed speed boats, fuel deports and an arms store.

Bile Hussein, a pirate commander, said today the attack on Handulle village in the Mudug region will cause a setback to pirate operations. The village lies about 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Haradheere town, a key pirate lair. There were no reports of deaths in the attack, Hussein said.

The EU naval force earlier announced it carried out its first air strikes against pirate targets on shore. An EU spokesman says maritime aircraft and attack helicopters took part in the attacks early in the morning.

The coastline of war-ravaged Somalia provides a haven for pirates preying on shipping off East Africa's coast.