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Somali pirate attacks lowest since 2009

International intervention and security measures are deterring pirates, says anti-maritime crime bureau.

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

The number of Somali pirate attacks fell to its lowest point since 2009, said the International Maritime Bureau on Monday.

Last year 233 attacks were reported. Just 70 attacks have been reported in 2012, according to the BBC.

“It’s good news that hijackings are down" said Captain Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, "but there can be no room for complacency: these waters are still extremely high-risk and the naval presence must be maintained.”

Captain Mukundan added, “We welcome the successful robust targeting of Pirate Action Groups by international navies in the high risk waters off Somalia."

Eleven vessels and 167 crew members were still being held for ransom by suspected Somali pirates as of September 30. In addition, pirates hold 21 crew members on land. Some hostages have been held for over 30 months.

IMB warned violent pirate attacks were spreading through the Gulf of Guinea. While attacks in Somalia decreased, attacks in off West Africa increased. Bloomberg News reported attacks around Indonesia increased to 51 from 46.

Bloomberg News reports governments spent about $1.3 billion last year "on military interventions including naval patrols."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/africa/121022/somali-pirate-attacks-lowest-2009