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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian destroyer heads home after Somali anti-piracy mission

RIA Novosti

17/03/2009 09:01 VLADIVOSTOK, March 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Admiral Vinogradov destroyer and the Boris Butoma tanker have completed their anti-piracy mission around the Horn of Africa and are on their way home, Russia's Pacific Fleet press service said on Tuesday.

The ships from Russia's Pacific Fleet have been involved in the anti-piracy operation off the Somali coast since the beginning of January and are heading to Indonesia, where they will visit the port of Jakarta on March 24-28 before returning to their main base in Vladivostok.

Earlier a Navy spokesman said that the Admiral Panteleyev destroyer would set sail from Vladivostok in April to take part in the anti-piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden.

Both warships are Udaloy class missile destroyers, armed with anti-ship missiles, 30-mm and 100-mm guns, and Ka-27 Helix helicopters.

According to the UN, Somali pirates carried out at least 120 attacks on ships in 2008, resulting in combined ransom payouts of around $150 million.

Around 20 warships from the navies of at least a dozen countries, including Russia, India, the United States, China and Arab states are involved in anti-piracy operations off Somalia, which has been ravaged by years of civil war.

Somalia's new unity government plans to tackle the problem of piracy by creating a maritime corridor through the country's territorial waters with international assistance.

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