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    French warship sinks pirate mother ship off Somalia

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    French warship has destroyed a pirate mother ship some 438 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia.

    French warship has destroyed a pirate mother ship some 438 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia, the EU Naval Force Public Affairs Office has said.

    The Nivose light surveillance frigate "found, stopped and searched" a suspicious vessel and two supporting skiffs on Thursday afternoon. The search revealed that the vessel was a pirate mother ship.

    A total of 11 suspected pirates were arrested and the mother ship was destroyed.

    The EU anti-piracy operation, dubbed Atalanta, has been patrolling shipping routes off the Horn of Africa from Somali pirates since December 2008 to deal with pirates, who thrive off the coast of Somalia.

    Naval warships and aircraft from the U.K., Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, Netherlands, Spain and Sweden have been involved in actively escorting commercial ships through the Gulf of Aden. The operation has been extended by the European Council until December 2010.

    In a report to the UN Security Council issued last year, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said international anti-piracy operations off Somalia have led to a decline in the number of successful ship seizures in the region.

    But many analysts believe that piracy will continue to be a problem until an effective government is established in Somalia. The east African nation has been without a fully functioning government since 1991.

    According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirates attacked 217 vessels and seized 47 of them last year.

     

    MOSCOW, April 30 (RIA Novosti)

     

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