A helicopter gunship swooped over the Somali coast to strike at a pirate stronghold Tuesday in a major escalation of an international effort to protect vital shipping lanes.
A Somali pirate patrols a beach in the central Somali town of Hobyo in 2010. An international naval force has struck Somali pirate assets on land for the first time, marking a major escalation in the fight against the scourge of piracy plaguing vital shipping lanes.
The helicopter lifted off from one of several ships in an EU armada offshore, blasting a stockpile of pirate skiffs on a beach in Somalia's central Galmudug region in the dead of night, officials said.
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