Russian destroyer escorts 12 civilian ships in Gulf of Aden
MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Pacific Fleet's Udaloy-class missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov began on Monday escorting 12 civilian vessels off the coast of Somalia, a Russian Navy spokesman said.
The Marshal Shaposhnikov large anti-submarine ship has two naval helicopters and a unit of naval infantry on board.
A Russian Pacific Fleet task force comprising the Marshal Shaposhnikov, the MB-37 salvage tug and the Pechenga tanker arrived in the Gulf of Aden on March 29 to join the anti-piracy mission there.
The task force is the fourth group of warships from the Russian Pacific Fleet engaged in the anti-piracy mission off Somalia, with the previous three task forces led by the Admiral Vinogradov, Admiral Panteleyev and the Admiral Tributs destroyers. The Northern and Baltic fleets have also sent task forces to the region.
Somali pirates carried out a record number of attacks and hijackings in 2009. According to the Piracy Reporting Center of the International Maritime Bureau, a total of 217 vessels were attacked last year, resulting in 47 hijackings.
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