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NATO Planning More Ships to Fight Somali Piracy


NATO officials say they are planning to send more ships to the Gulf of Aden off Somalia as part of the international effort to fight piracy.

Defense ministers meeting Thursday in Krakow, Poland agreed to restart the organization's naval operation along the lawless coastline.

NATO spokesman James Appathurai told reporters that the alliance will likely be sending ships in the next two to three months.

NATO had last sent ships to the region late last year. That mission had been replaced by a European Union task force in December.

Pirates in the Gulf of Aden attacked more than 100 ships and hijacked about 40 last year.

Several countries have sent warships to patrol the waters near Somalia to protect one of the world's major shipping lanes.

On Wednesday, the Russian navy handed over to Yemeni authorities 10 suspected Somali pirates seized last week off the Horn of Africa.

A Russian warship captured the men on February 12 near Yemen's Socotra island.

The suspected pirates were in two speedboats and a mother ship in pursuit of an Iranian-flagged trawler.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Bloomberg.

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