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Six pirate attacks foiled this week: IMB

Six pirate attacks foiled this week: IMB

Kuala Lumpur: The International Maritime Bureau reports that heavily armed Somali pirates attacked six ships, including British, Indian and Singapore-managed vessels, earlier this week but all managed to escape.

"In the past two days, pirates have been actively attacking vessels with intent to hijack," Noel Choong, head of the International Maritime Bureau piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur, said in a statement today.

"It appears that favourable weather conditions in the area and the high number of hijacked vessel that have been released recently may have prompted the pirates to actively seek for new targets," he added.

Choong said he believes the strong presence of naval warships in strategic locations has helped reduce the incidence of successful pirate attacks. But the IMB boss urged ships to maintain 24-hour visual and radar watches to prevent hijacks. Since the beginning of the year there have been 22 reported attacks, with seven vessels and 123 seamen being held by Somali pirates, according to the IMB.  [13/02/09]