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Somali pirate attacks hit record high last year

Friday, January 20, 2012

Somali pirate attacks hit a record high last year, widening their activities in the Indian Ocean.

The International Maritime Bureau said on Thursday that sea piracy worldwide dropped slightly in 2011, but Somali pirate attacks increased to 237 cases, up 18 from 2010. These cases accounted for 54 percent of worldwide piracy.

Eight people were killed and 470 were taken hostage in Somali attacks last year.

The bureau says attacks in the Gulf of Aden have decreased, but assaults have increased in waters off the Arabian Peninsula and southern Africa.

It notes the trend shows Somali pirates have widened the areas they are active in, evading surveillance by navies from around the world.

The IMB says Somali pirates have increasingly been more heavily armed with rocket grenades and machine guns.

The bureau calls on operators of commercial shipping to collect information and be careful when their ships pass through waters near Somalia.

Naval vessels have tightened surveillance in these waters. Japan’s Self-Defense Force set up a base of operation in Djibouti last July to increase their international navigation escort duties.

NHK.

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Laaska News.
http://www.laaska.wordpress.com

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