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Seychelles and EU detain 11 suspected Somali pirates

The Seychelles coastguard detained 11 suspected Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean, a statement said Monday. "The Seychelles coastguard vessel Topaz arrested 11 Somali pirates in an operation undertaken yesterday (Sunday) evening in an area 225 nautical miles northwest of Mahe (the main island)," the statement said.



The coastguard vessel approached several suspect skiffs after being alerted to possible pirate activity by a European Union surveillance aircraft and was fired upon, the statement from the Seychelles presidency said.

"The 11 men were caught in possession of diverse arms and weaponry. There were no casualties during the operation," it said.

The world's naval powers last year started deploying warships in the Gulf of Aden in an attempt to curb attacks by ransom-hunting pirates that were seen as a threat to one of the globe's most crucial maritime trade routes.

Pirate groups have since shifted their focus to the wider Indian Ocean, a huge area much more difficult to patrol, and started venturing as far as the Seychelles and beyond.

However, the Seychelles did it not alone. An EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, stationed at the Seychelles, located a suspected Pirate Attack Group with one mother skiff and two attack skiffs. EU NAVFOR French warship FS Floreal was tasked to close the group and the Seychellois Coast Guard also responded to the request by sending their patrol vessel Topaz.

At first light, EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft relocated the suspected Pirated Attack Group and directed both vessels to that position. On arrival of the Coast Guard vessel, the helicopter of FS Floreal assisted the Topaz crew with the intercept and securing the area. Eleven suspected pirates were arrested by the Seychellois Coast Guard and all pirate related paraphernalia was seized; two attack skiffs were destroyed.
© Ecoterra -


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