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Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Wednesday, 20 May 2009

THE EU is set to extend its anti-piracy operations off Somalia to extend out into the Indian Ocean as far as the Seychelles and is also likely to keep its forces in the area into next year at least.

A meeting of EU defence ministers on Monday reached an agrement in principle on the issue andFrench junior Defence Minister Jean-Marie Bockel was quoted as saying extending the area of operations would ideally require the deployment of two more ships.

Difdfering numebrs of EU warships are quoted by the news agencies as operating in the area . Reuters puts the military force at 13 vessels and three maritime patrol aircraft. The US Navy also ahs a strong presence while warhsips from sevral other states, incluidng China and Russia, also ptrol the waters around the Fulf of Aden and the northern Indian Ocean.

Meanwhile it has been reported that the Malta-flag bulker Patriot has been released by pirates Somali pirates and that her 17-strong crew are safe.