'Pirates' fire on Italian navy helicopter

Rome - Suspected pirates opened fire on an Italian navy helicopter on patrol off the east coast of Somalia, hitting a window and slightly injuring a pilot, the force said on Friday.

The attack from a small boat broke the window, spraying out glass that hit one of the pilots in the neck, the navy said.

The helicopter, which was taking part in a European Union anti-piracy operation named 'Atalanta', did not return fire to avoid endangering any possible hostages, it added.

It later returned safely to the Italian navy's ship San Giusto, said European Union Naval Force spokesperson Jacqueline Sherriff.

Somali pirates have raked in millions of dollars in ransoms from seized vessels in recent years in what has become a highly organized international criminal enterprise, spurring international navies to join forces in a crackdown.

Nato said in July increased international anti-piracy efforts were helping to reduce the threat to shipping.

"Shots were fired from a vessel thought to have been attacked and seized by suspected pirates," the navy said in a statement.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
15.77
+0.7%
Rand - Pound
19.69
-0.0%
Rand - Euro
16.65
-0.0%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.09
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.12
-0.0%
Gold
1,846.66
0.0%
Silver
21.76
0.0%
Palladium
1,970.00
0.0%
Platinum
958.50
0.0%
Brent Crude
112.55
+0.5%
Top 40
61,000
-1.2%
All Share
67,575
-1.0%
Resource 10
72,529
+1.6%
Industrial 25
72,948
-3.9%
Financial 15
15,746
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE