After a weekend of moderating comments on a previous entry on the Pirates of Somalia, I felt compelled to run this photograph. A huge number of comments came into that earlier entry with attempts to explain, justify, cheer or laud these Somali men who are seizing ships and boats at gunpoint (various claims about toxic waste dumping, illegal fishing, unfair treatment by western nations, somalis defending their coast). I usually make a point not to editorialize, so forgive the indulgence here - but what possible justification could there be for what is seen in this photograph? All of the above rationalizations ring terribly hollow.
In this photo are three of the five armed Somalis who captured the private yacht "Tanit" on April 4, off the coast of Somalia, and four of the five French hostages, including the 28-year-old skipper Florent Lemacon (sunglasses), his wife Chloe, and - barely visible - their 3-year-old son Colin.
On Friday, April 10th, with the captors sailing the yacht toward land, French special forces stormed the boat, killing two of the pirates and capturing three others. Florent Lemacon was killed in the crossfire, an investigation is underway to determine exactly whose bullet killed the man. (1 photo total)
An armed pirate stands over French hostages aboard the yacht 'Tanit' off the coast of Somalia in this undated handout picture released by the French Ministry of Defence April 11, 2009. French special forces stormed the yacht held by pirates in an assault that killed one hostage, but freed four. (REUTERS/ECPAD-French Ministry of Defence) (click to enlarge)
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