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Wed, Sep 12, 2012

Suspected Somali Pirates Wound Italian Navy Pilot

Fired On A Helicopter Patrolling East Of Somalia

A helicopter pilot with the Italian navy was slightly wounded Friday when suspected Somali pirates opened fire on his aircraft in flight, breaking out one of the helo's windows.

The suspected pirates were firing from a small boat, according to a report from Reuters. The pilot was wounded slightly when one of the aircraft's windows shattered and hit him in the neck. The aircraft was patrolling along the east coast of Somalia as part of a European Union anti-piracy operation codenamed "Atalanta."

The helicopter did not return fire on the boat out of consideration for any hostages that might have been on board. It returned safely to the Italian naval vessel San Giusto.

The boat used in the attack was thought to have been seized by pirates, according to a statement from the Italian navy. NATO has increased its anti-piracy efforts since July in a effort to stem what they say has become a highly organized criminal enterprise.



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