US Navy captures suspected pirates in Gulf of Aden
The seven men arrested will be turned over to Kenya, which plans to set up a court to try pirates.
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Last week, a Ukrainian ship captured in September was released after a $3.2 million ransom was reportedly paid to Somali pirates. The M/V Faina was bringing tanks and weaponry to an unspecified buyer in East Africa, and its seizure drew attention to the cargo, says the Financial Times. Along with a Saudi oil tanker seized in November, the Faina was among the highest-profile hijackings and a spur for international efforts to secure the waterways.Skip to next paragraph
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Singapore said Thursday it would send a ship and two helicopters to assist the international task force. Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean told Singapore's parliament that the deployment would last three months, reports Channel News Asia.
Bloomberg reports that Japan has also put its Navy on alert to join the antipiracy efforts. Prime Minister Taro Aso recently pledged to revise laws that restrict Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force so that it can take a more aggressive stance in protecting Japanese vessels from attack. Two destroyers are expected to be sent to the Gulf of Aden in March, joining 20 other national and international forces.
In a sign of its increased sea power, China has sent three ships to the area. The Christian Science Monitor reported in December that China sees its role as befitting its global trading stature, although some neighboring countries are suspicious of blue-water naval ambitions.
Last week, Chinese online media reported a tense standoff between a Chinese warship and Indian submarine in the Gulf of Aden. The BBC says that Indian officials denied any incident took place and China's official media ignored the story. The alleged incident occurred on Jan. 15 and involved an Indian submarine that was reportedly tracking a Chinese flotilla on its way to Somalia, possibly to test its sonar capabilities.