US ac­tion against pi­rates con­sid­ered

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

NAIROBI: The US con­sid­ered tak­ing mil­i­tary ac­tion against a Ukrainian ship car­ry­ing tanks and anti-air­craft guns af­ter it was hi­jacked by So­mali pi­rates two years ago, ac­cord­ing to a con­fi­den­tial cable re­leased yes­ter­day.

Con­doleezza Rice, who was then sec­re­tary of state, ca­bled sev­eral US em­bassies and asked them to make clear to host gov­ern­ments Washington “re­serves the right to take ur­gent ac­tion if nec­es­sary” to keep the weapons from the hands of Is­lamist mil­i­tants in So­ma­lia.

The US has rarely used mil­i­tary ac­tion af­ter a ves­sel is seized be­cause it could en­dan­ger the hostages. The newly leaked ca­bles show how des­per­ate the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion was to pre­vent the arms from be­ing di­verted to So­ma­lia.

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