Somali official: foreigners may use force on ship

October 1, 2008 8:23:31 AM PDT
An official at Somalia's foreign ministry says foreign powers may use force to free a hijacked ship carrying tanks and other heavy weapons. Mohamed Jama Ali, the ministry's acting permanent director, said his government granted permission on the condition that foreign powers coordinate with Somalia beforehand.

"The international community has permission to fight with the pirates," Ali told The Associated Press Wednesday. "Permission to use force was given."

The hijacking of the Ukrainian ship MV Faina - carrying 33 Soviet-made T-72 tanks, rifles, and heavy weapons that U.S. defense officials have said included rocket launchers - was the highest-profile act of piracy in the dangerous waters off Somalia this year.