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UN Urges Tougher Legal Action Against Somalia Pirates

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling for tougher laws against pirates operating off the coast of Somalia.

The resolution, which was drafted by Russia, calls on U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to present to the council within three months options for a regional or international legal system to deal with piracy.

Tuesday's action follows Kenya's decision to no longer prosecute Somali pirates because of the heavy strain it put on the country's prison and legal systems.

Piracy is a major problem off the coast of Somalia, with gangs of pirates recently stepping up attacks despite the presence of international naval vessels in the area.

Last week, the United States charged 11 men with piracy following attacks on two U.S. ships.

Somalia pirates have hijacked more than 20 ships since the beginning of March and are believed to be holding hostage 24 ships, along with about 400 crew members.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.