Pirate shot dead by armed guard
A pirate has been shot dead by a private security guard on a merchant ship off the coast of east Africa, in what is thought to be the first such fatality since the start of the Somali piracy explosion.
The news will add to fears already expressed in the industry that the use of private military contractors could actually escalate violence, by increasing the stakes from the pirates" point of view. The shooting may also have legal implications.
The vessel involved in the incident has been named as the 1981-built, 2,866 dwt Almezaan, a Panama-flag general cargoship associated with a company registered in St Vincent and Grenadines.
According to EU Navfor sources, the ship was approached twice by a pirate group. During the second approach, there was an exchange of fire between the guards and the pirates.
A helicopter from an EU Navfor frigate later located a group of seven pirates, one of them dead from small calibre gunshot wounds. The remaining six pirates were taken into custody.