The European Union's naval force off the Somali coastline on Tuesday carried out its first air strikes against pirate targets on shore, officials said.
Maritime aircraft and attack helicopters took part in the attacks early in the morning on the mainland, a spokesman said. No casualties were reported in the raid, which occurred along Somalia's central coastline in the region of Galmudug.
The long coastline of war-ravaged Somalia provides a perfect haven for pirate gangs preying on shipping off the East African coast.
The EU is the main donor to the Somali transitional government. It is also trains Somali army troops, and is reinforcing the navies of five neighbouring countries to enable them to counter piracy themselves.
"This action against piracy is part of a comprehensive EU approach to the crisis in Somalia, where we support a lasting political solution on land," said Michael Mann, spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.