World Bulletin / News Desk
The European Union's anti-piracy force attacked Somali pirate installations on Somalia's coastline by air on Tuesday for the first time since its mandate was expanded earlier this year.
The strike on what the EU force said was "on known pirate supplies" came four days after Somali pirates hijacked a Greek-owned oil tanker carrying close to a million barrels of crude oil in the Arabian Sea.
"We believe this action by the EU Naval Force will further increase the pressure on, and disrupt pirates' efforts to get out to sea to attack merchant shipping and dhows," Operation Commander of the EU Naval Force, Rear Admiral Duncan Potts, said in a statement.
"The focused, precise and proportionate action was conducted from the air and all forces returned safely to EU warships on completion," the statement said, adding that initial surveillance had indicated that no Somalis had been wounded as a result of the attack.
The EU extended its counter-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia by two years in March, until December 2014, and expanded the area it covers to include the coastline itself.
Until Tuesday's attack, it had only operated in Somalia's territorial and internal waters. But its decision to extend its area of operations to include Somali coastal territory - land along the country's coastline - meant it was able to target pirates' weaponry and other equipment on land.