Russia says it will send more warships to combat piracy in the waters off Somalia.
The RIA Novosti news agency quotes the head of the Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky as saying the ships are needed to fight intensifying pirate activity.
A Russian destroyer, the Neustrashimy, is already patrolling the Gulf of Aden, along with ships from the United States, India, and other countries.
Meanwhile, countries bordering the Red Sea are holding an emergency meeting in Cairo to discuss strategies for fighting the pirates. Egypt is concerned the attacks in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean will stop shipping companies from using the Suez Canal, one of the country's main profit centers.
Encouraged by millions of dollars in ransom payments, Somali pirates have been hijacking ships at an unprecedented rate. The International Maritime Bureau says more than 90 ships have been attacked this year, and at least 36 hijacked.
The pirates are believed to be holding 17 ships at the moment with some 300 crew members.
Friday, November 21, 2008