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Russia's Northern Fleet Neustrashimy (Fearless) missile frigate is escorting a group
Russia's Northern Fleet Neustrashimy (Fearless) missile frigate is escorting a group of commercial ships off the Somali coast, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Friday.

Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said the Neustrashimy was escorting a Russian vessel, a Maltese tanker, two Panamanian bulk carriers, a Lithuanian steamer and a freight ship, and two dry cargo carriers flying the flag of Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Vincent.

The Russian missile frigate is operating off the Horn of Africa according to international maritime law and agreements, Dygalo said.

Russia sent the Neustrashimy to Somalia's coast to protect Russian commercial shipping in October. The frigate will continue its mission until the end of the year, when it will be replaced by another naval vessel, Dygalo said.

Pirates have been increasingly active in the waters off Somalia, where over 120 ships have been attacked so far this year, with around 40 vessels seized. The navies of at least 10 countries are involved in anti-piracy operations off the coast of the East African nation.


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