24 Mar 2012

EU approves attacks on land bases to foil pirates

6:06 am on 24 March 2012

The European Union has agreed to expand its mission against Somali pirates by allowing military forces to attack land targets as well as those at sea.

In a two-year extension of its mission, EU defence ministers have agreed warships can target boats and fuel dumps.

The BBC reports that several EU naval ships are currently on patrol off the Horn of Africa, policing routes and protecting humanitarian aid.

Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the plan is to allow attacks on land installations when ships are assaulted at sea, adding that much care would be taken to avoid civilian deaths.