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Russian warship detains 3 pirate vessels off Horn of Africa

RIA Novosti

13/02/2009 14:37 MOSCOW, February 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Pyotr Veliky missile cruiser has detained three pirate vessels off the coast of Somalia, a Russian Navy spokesman said on Friday.

"Two speedboats and a large parent ship were detained with 10 Somali pirates on board," Capt. 1st Rank Igor Dygalo said.

The incident occurred on Thursday near Yemen's Sokotra Island when a Pyotr Veliky-based helicopter spotted two speedboats moving in the direction of a fishing boat under the Iranian flag. Upon spotting the helicopter, the people on board the speedboats began hurling arms overboard.

The helicopter crew continued surveillance until the Pyotr Veliky arrived at the scene.

Weapons, including assault rifles and grenade launchers, as well as drugs and a large amount of cash were discovered on board the vessels. "The detainees were in a state of narcotic intoxication," Dygalo said.

He also said investigators were currently questioning the detainees.

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