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March 11, 2010

EU Forces Sink Suspected Somali Pirate Vessel

The European Union's anti-piracy naval force operating off the coast of Somalia says it has sunk a suspected pirate vessel and seized another.   

The operation was carried out by a German warship in the waters between Somalia and the Seychelles.

The suspect vessels had first been spotted by a Luxembourg patrol plane.

Suspected pirates rounded up during the operation were later released.

The EU force has intensified its efforts to disrupt pirate activity. The force says that in the past week it has taken more than 40 suspected pirates into custody and put two pirate "motherships" out of action. But the force acknowledges pirate attacks and hijackings are likely to continue.

On Tuesday, maritime sources reported that Somali pirates had hijacked the Spanish-owned, Kenyan-flagged fishing vessel FV Sakoba in the western Indian Ocean. The size and nationality of the ship's crew is unknown.

Somali pirates have made tens of millions of dollars hijacking ships for ransom over the past few years.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.