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French Navy Delivers Pirate Suspects to Kenya


The French navy has handed over 11 suspected pirates to authorities in Kenya, where they are expected to face trial for attempted hijacking.

A French frigate carrying the suspects docked in Mombasa Wednesday. The men were arrested earlier this month after attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden.

France is part of the international effort to fight piracy off the Somali coast.

Somali Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke said Wednesday that the foreign navies have not discouraged the pirates "an inch."

He called for an end to ransom payments, saying the millions of dollars handed to pirates only encourages more hijackings and hostage takings.

The prime minister told reporters in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, that the money would be better spent on strengthening the country's security forces.

Somalia's weak central government is distracted by a deadly insurgency inside the country, and is unable to police its waters.

Piracy is expected to be a key issue at an international donors conference on Somalia this week in Brussels.

The International Maritime Bureau said Somali pirates carried out 61 attacks in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's east coast in the first three months of the year.

It said Somali pirates accounted for all nine hijackings reported worldwide during the period.
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