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    Russian task force concludes anti-piracy mission off Somalia

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    A Russian Pacific Fleet's task force, led by Udaloy-class missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, has accomplished its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and set sail to its home base in Vladivostok.

    A Russian Pacific Fleet's task force, led by Udaloy-class missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, has accomplished its anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden and set sail to its home base in Vladivostok.

    "The task force has been on a tour of duty [off the Somali coast] for more than two months. It escorted 11 convoys totaling over 100 commercial vessels from different countries. The task force is on its way home," Capt. 1st Rank Roman Martov, a Pacific Fleet spokesman, said on Monday.

    The task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 to join the anti-piracy mission in the region.

    Navy commandos from the Marshal Shaposhnikov freed the Russian Moscow University tanker during a 22-minute operation on May 6. Ten attackers were detained and one was killed. None of the crew members was injured.

    The Russian Navy has maintained a near-permanent presence off the Horn of Africa, with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast in October 2008.

    The task force was the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers. The Northern and Baltic fleets have also sent task forces to the region.

    VLADIVOSTOK, June 7 (RIA Novosti)

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