Pirates Step Up Attacks After UN OKs More Force

Security Council says foreign forces can pursue Somali miscreants onto land
By Jim O'Neill,  Newser User
Posted Dec 17, 2008 10:10 AM CST
A member of the Dutch special forces stands guard near the bridge of Dutch cargo ship MV Jumbo Javelin as it passes near the Gulf of Aden, Dec. 8, 2008.    (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Pirates attacked more vessels off the coast of Somalia today despite a UN Security Council decision green-lighting foreign military forces to pursue them on land, reports the BBC. Four ships were attacked, and three—a tugboat, merchant ship, and private yacht—were being held by the pirates. A Chinese ship repulsed attackers until help arrived.

The UN yesterday approved land and air attacks against the pirates as the international community marshaled its forces against the miscreants who’ve disrupted seaborne commerce off the East African nation, the Washington Post adds. Land pursuits would require Somali approval, though the political situation there is tenuous; Secretary General Ban Ki-moon put the kibosh on a US plan to send UN peacekeepers.