Somali pirates, security personnel in 3 shootouts

Somali pirates, security personnel in 3 shootouts Nairobi: Maritime officials say pirates have clashed with private security and military personnel in three separate incidents off the Somali coast in the latest indicator of rising pirate attacks.

Cmdr. John Harbour of the EU Naval Force says two incidents today involved French military personnel. The Spanish Defense Ministry says a third incident involved Spanish private security guards and military.

The attacks come one day after a Spanish fishing vessel caught fire after pirates launched a rocket-propelled grenade at it.

Harbour says pirates are beginning to attack in larger numbers because the monsoon season off the Somali coast has ended, resulting in calmer waters.