Posted by SAM on 4 October, 2008 at 6:18 am. 10 comments already!

Europe is coming! Europe is coming!
QUESTION: Why doesn’t this deter pirates (or pretty much anyone)?

An international armada was preparing to head towards the Somali coast yesterday as the stand-off with pirates holding a Ukrainian ship to ransom threatened to escalate.

Amid warnings that an effective blockade by the pirates could spark a famine in the Horn of Africa, European Union defence ministers meeting in Paris agreed to set up a naval taskforce to tackle the threat.

Two Royal Navy frigates, HMS Chatham and HMS Lancaster, are already in the region and could join the proposed fleet.

The pirates who seized the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina were in defiant mood yesterday, vowing to fight if there was an attempt to rescue the crew of 20. They also said that they were only prepared to hand over the cargo of tanks and weapons in return for a ransom of £11 million.

“Anyone who tries to attack us or deceive us will face bad repercussions,” Sugule Ali, a spokesman for the pirates, told the Associated Press in a satellite telephone interview. The vessel is surrounded by half a dozen American warships but no moves have been made to board it.

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