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    Russia to fight piracy off Somalia coast

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    Russia will soon join international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but will conduct its operations independently, the Navy commander said on Tuesday.

    MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will soon join international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but will conduct its operations independently, the Navy commander said on Tuesday.

    Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to police its coastline. The International Maritime Bureau said more than 30 incidents of piracy were registered in the region in 2007. According to UN data, 26 attacks have been committed so far this year off the coast of the East African nation.

    "We are planning to participate in international efforts to fight piracy off the Somalia coast, but the Russian warships will conduct operations on their own," Adm. Vladimir Vysotsky said.

    Russian nationals are frequently among the crews of civilian ships hijacked by pirates off the Somalia coast.

    At the beginning of June, the UN Security Council passed a resolution permitting countries to enter Somalia's territorial waters to combat "acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea."

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