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Iran 'abolishes' piracy off Somalia

Thu, 23 Jul 2009
The Commander of Iran's Navy Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari says Iran has managed to halt the activity of pirates in the Indian Ocean.

"The presence of the Iranian warships in the northern Indian Ocean has nearly abolished the phenomena of piracy in the region," Fars news agency quoted Sayyari as saying.

Earlier this month, the Iranian Navy successfully finished its first patrol mission in the pirate-infested waters off Somali and the Gulf of Aden.

Iran deployed two warships in the troubled region in May to secure the safety of its cargo ships and oil tankers in the region.

Sayyari had earlier declared that during the two-month mission, the stationed warships kept a vigilant eye on 366 merchant ships, 36 of which were owned or leased by Iran.

And in other news...........

July 15 2009
Pirate Attacks More than Double in 2009
Sea Bandits Attacked 240 Times Between January and June, up from Just 114 a Year Earlier

Despite stepped-up naval efforts, piracy on the high seas is raging out of control and the level of violence is rising, a new report finds.

Piracy attacks globally more than doubled to 240 from 114 during the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2008, according to the report from the ICC International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Center (IMB).

"The rise in overall numbers is due almost entirely to increased Somali pirate activity off the Gulf of Aden and east coast of Somalia, with 86 and 44 incidents reported respectively," the report said.

There are signs of a slowdown in waters that have received the most attention from the U.S. Navy and other nations interested in protecting cargo vessels, in part due to the high-profile capture and eventual escape of Capt. Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama.

But at the same time, piracy in other waters shot up.

A total of 78 vessels were boarded worldwide in the first half of the year, 75 vessels were fired upon, and 31 were hijacked with some 561 crew taken hostage, 19 injured, seven kidnapped, six killed and eight missing.

The attackers were heavily armed with guns and knives in the majority of incidents.

"Violence against crew members continues to increase," the report concludes.

Nevertheless, the presence of navies in the Gulf of Aden from several countries have made it difficult for pirates to hijack vessels and has led them to seek new areas of operation such as the southern Red Sea and the east coast of Oman, where Somali pirates are believed to be responsible for a spate of recent attacks.

Attacks off the eastern coast of Somalia had decreased in recent months after peaking in March and April, with no attacks reported in June. But the Piracy Reporting Center attributed the decline to heavy weather associated with the monsoons that are expected to continue into August. The Center said vigilance should nevertheless remain high during this period.

Click to view image: '9cdcebdfc9e0-somali_pirate_attacks_map.jpg'

Added: Jul-24-2009 Occurred On: Jul-23-2009
By: Daniel_Epstein
Iran, Middle East
Tags: iran, navy, sayyari, piracy, somalia, gulf of aden, nato, monsoon, philips, maersk alabama
Location: Tehran, Tehran, Iran (load item map)
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