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  Saturday, December 14, 2019
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The Netherlands is to send a missile frigate to fight piracy
The Netherlands is to send a missile frigate to fight piracy off the coast of Somali and escort ships carrying UN aid for refugees in the war-torn east African state, the ANP news agency said on Tuesday.

The HNLMS De Ruyter (F804) is a De Zeven Provincien class frigate built mainly for air-defense, but also has weapons to attack surface targets, including Harpoon missiles. It is to be sent to the region at the end of October.

De Ruyter is currently on a mission in the Mediterranean, and can quickly reach the Somali coast, the news agency said.

Another Royal Netherlands Navy frigate of the same class, the Evertsen (F805), patrolled the waters near Somalia in April-June 2008. The warship successfully escorted 10 convoys, which delivered a total of 42,000 tons of food for 1 million refugees.

Pirates are increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, which has no effective government and no navy to police its coastline. The International Maritime Bureau said more than 30 incidents of piracy were registered in the region in 2007. More than 30 attacks have been committed so far this year off the Somali coast.

Recently, pirates hijacked a Ukrainian ship, MV Faina, carrying at least 33 tanks and other heavy weaponry on board.

Six U.S. warships are surrounding the Faina and a Russian frigate, the Neustrashimy (Fearless), is headed toward the standoff.


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