Somali pirates mistakenly attack Dutch warship. Oops.

As the high season of piracy begins, Somali pirates started to attack the HNLMS Tromp, a Dutch warship. European Naval forces are having good success with a more aggressive anti-piracy strategy.

By , staff writer

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    Somali pirate skiffs, such as those seen here (c.), were used in an attempt to attack the HNLMS Tromp, a Dutch warship, on Wednesday. When the pirates realized it was a warship, they turned and ran, but were quickly captured by the Dutch.
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Chalk it up to another case of poor eyesight - or perhaps outsized ambition.

On Wednesday, Somali pirates rolled out of bed, grabbed their AK-47s, hopped in a couple of skiffs and tried to take on the HNLMS Tromp, a Dutch warship.

“A rather silly mistake,” wryly observed Cmdr. John Harbour, the European Union navel spokesman.

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When they got close enough to realize that their greed was dwarfed by their opponent, the pirates turned their skiffs around and fled. The Dutch shipped tracked them down, and boarded their mother ship, capturing 13 would-be pirates and weapons.

But it's not the pirates' first case of mistaken identity on such a disastrous scale. Check out our Top 5 blunders of Somali pirates.

Typically, the months of March, April, and May are the high season for piracy off the Somali coast. Last year, half of almost 50 successful hijackings took place in those months, according to Commander Harbour.

Rear Adm. Peter Hudson, the commander of the European Union naval force operating in the area, told the Associated Press that his fleet of warships taking a more aggressive approach and taking on pirate vessels closer to shore, moving in as close as three miles to the coast of Somalia.

In the first two weeks of March, the EU Naval Force has attacked 12 groups of pirate vessels.

The French frigate Nivose, has been particularly effective, capturing 35 pirates, four mother ships, and six smaller boats over a stretch of four days.

Those results prompted the question: “Does France have the most effective navy against the buccaneers?"

Admiral Hudson told the AP that it is too soon to tell whether the gains of the new strategy will hold. He said an improved level of co-operation between EU forces, NATO and US naval forces based out of Bahrain is also helping.

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