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Somali pirate attacks closing in on Indian coast, warns IMB

Kuala Lumpur: Somali pirate attacks are closing in on the south and west coasts of India the International Maritime Bureau is warning shipping. "Recent attacks (have) indicated that pirates are moving closer towards the eastern part of the Indian Ocean approaching closer to the Indian west and south coast, Lakshadweep/Minicoy islands, and Northern Maladives," warned an alert sent to ships earlier today by the IMB's piracy reporting centre in Kuala Lumpur. The alert listed six recent attacks in the eastern Indian Ocean, including hijackings and vessels that had been fired upon, ranging from 60 degrees east to 69 degrees east. Vessels were advised to "exercise extreme caution", and for strict anti-piracy measures to be maintained by vessels sailing in the western, central, eastern and northern parts of the Indian Ocean. The IMB has written to the authorities in India and the Maldives appealing to them to step up patrols. If the attacks go unchecked Noel Choong, head of the piracy reporting centre said the pirates could move to attack ships closer to the two country's coastlines. [20/04/10]

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