08/09/08 (B464) Press TV / Des parlementaires somaliens affirment que les US sont indifférents à la piraterie et que leurs navires, pourtant basés dans la région, sont réticents à intervenir. ‘US allows piracy in Somali waters’ (Info lecteur – En Anglais)

Somali politicians and parliamentarians say Washington is indifferent towards ships being pirated in the presence of the US Navy.

Somali pirates are hijacking ships not only in international waters and Somali waters, where US warships have anchored since 2001. The US navy, however, does not take any action to stop the pirates Somali officials said Sunday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Somali pirates, who have seized many ships over the past few years, are reportedly holding over 130 crew members of hijacked vessels.

The US claims its warships were deployed to ‘guard’ Somali waters but the US Navy’s reluctance towards taking action against the pirates suggests that the US is conducting ‘covert operations’ in the area, the officials said.

In recent days, the US military has been bombarding positions in southern Somalia allegedly used by suspected al-Qaeda members, reports say.

In March US aircraft bombed a Somali town near the Kenyan border overnight killing at least four civilians.

American military aircraft, in late August, flew over the town of Kismayu in southern Somalia spreading fear among civilians.

Apart from the naval fleet off the Somali coast The US military has a base in Djibouti and to patrol the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden with the so-called aim of reducing terrorism.

Somalia is at the entrance to the Gulf of Aden, which leads to the Red Sea and the 166-kilometer (103-mile) Suez Canal, one of the world’s most important shipping channels.

The country, plagued by factional clashes between warlords, and has been without a central administration since the 1991 ouster of former dictator Mohammed Siad Barre. Thousands of civilians continue to die in regional fighting that has lasted for over 17 years.