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Pirate attacks down in Somalia

Hijackings by Somali pirates have decreased significantly this year, European Naval Force figures show.

Somali pirate attacks downEnlarge
Pirate attacks around the Somali coast decreased sharply this November. (Image released by US Navy/AFP/Getty Images)

Somali pirate attacks were down significantly this November compared to the same time last year, BBC News reported

The latest figures from the European Naval Force show 12 attempted pirate attacks in November 2011, compared to 35 in 2010. The decrease has been attributed in part to the presence of more armed guards aboard ships, as well as increased security provided by razor wire, said BBC Correspondent Frank Gardner. The UK is set to allow armed guards on British-flagged ships next year. 

More from GlobalPost: Piracy: Indian Ocean Plagued by Somali Pirates (VIDEO) 

In February 2011, four American hostages were captured and killed by pirates while sailing their yacht near Somalia, the New York Times reported. There are currently 172 hostages and 10 vessels being held by Somali pirates for ransom, according to the most recent report by the International Maritime Bureau's Piracy Reporting Center.  

Despite the sharp dip in attacks, President James Michel of Somalia has asked world leaders to increase support for African Union forces in Somalia, the Associated Press reported. President Michel said that even though less attacks are successful, the number of pirate hijackings in the Indian Ocean has increased as pirates resort to "more desperate measures." 

The Seychelles' GDP has dropped 4 percent as a result of piracy, as the island's shipping prices have increased and yacht tourism has declined, according to the AP. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/111205/pirate-attacks-down-somalia