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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian ship thwarts pirate attack on tanker in Red Sea

RIA Novosti

16:52 03/08/2010

MOSCOW, August 3 (RIA Novosti) - A Russian Black Sea fleet vessel, involved in an anti-piracy mission off the Horn of Africa, thwarted a pirate attack on a Russian-flagged tanker in the Red Sea on Monday, a Navy spokesman said on Tuesday.

"The SB-36 tugboat, part of the Russian Navy task force off the Horn of Africa, thwarted the attack of two pirate boats on the Russian-flagged Dafna tanker in the southern part of the Red Sea," the spokesman said.

Two boats, carrying a total of 14 people, dangerously approached the tanker with 15 Russian nationals onboard on Monday evening.

"As warning shots were fired from the SB-36, the boats halted and then fled towards some islands," the source said.

A Russian naval infantry team boarded the Dafna to protect its crew.

The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Horn of Africa with warships operating on a rotation basis. Russia joined international anti-piracy efforts off the Somali coast in October 2008.

A task force led by the RFNS DDG Admiral Levchenko, an Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer of the Northern Fleet, arrived in the Gulf of Aden on July 3 to join the international anti-piracy mission near Somalia. The Russian mission also includes the Olekma tanker and the SB-36 tugboat of Russia's Black Sea Fleet.

The previous task force was led by the Udaloy-class guided-missile destroyer Marshal Shaposhnikov, which took part in freeing the Russian Moscow University tanker hijacked on May 6 by Somali pirates.

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