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Piracy News & Commentary

How Not to Behave, Intentions Notwithstanding

Eritrea has detained four British private security contractors after they came ashore, ostensibly to obtain fuel. The contractors, part of an antipiracy force belonging to Protection Vessels International, are accused of espionage, sabotage, terrorism, and invasion. Eritrea has an isolationist government that could well be described as paranoid, and the appearance of armed men on its shore may have triggered fears of a mercenary coup. Or, the government may be holding the men essentially for ransom. Curious is an accusation that the men had "poisoned bullets" (which have been used in past conflicts, especially 17th century). Likely, the "poisoned" bullets are tracers, something even Eritrean forces are familiar with. Lesson learned? Avoid paranoid states. (Source: nytimes)
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