Fridtjof Nansen under fire in Somalia

The Spanish-built 5,100 tonne KNM Fridtjof Nansen is named after a famous Norwegian explorer.

Two sailors were killed in an exchange of fire off the northeast coast of Somalia on Nov. 1, after apparently trying to attack a Norwegian warship, Somali officials and an EU naval commander said.

Three others were injured in the incident at around 1:00 am (2200 GMT Saturday) when fishing boats were stopped and checked at sea as part of efforts to combat piracy in the region, Somali officials said. The two dead fishermen were a Yemeni and a Somali, reports AFP.

A European Union naval commander said that a Norwegian warship came under heavy gunfire early Sunday as it inspected a dhow off the northeast Somali coast. The Norwegian sailors escaped unharmed, but they returned fire in self-defence.

The KNM Fridtjof Nansen was attacked 12 nautical miles east of Alula, said an earlier statement from the mission.

While Norway is not part of the 27-nation EU, it is a longstanding member of NATO — which collaborates with the Brussels-mandated mission on a host of interntional anti-piracy operations.
Pirate activity outside the Somalian coast is a considerable threat to the supply of humanitarian support to Somalia as well as to international shipping. Military presence plays an important role in fighting piracy, and there are several national and multinational maritime operations in the area at the moment.
As a major seafaring nation, Norway has an obvious role in the work of protecting international shipping.
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