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March 16, 2009

Pirates of Somalia

Somali pirates continue their attacks against international ships in and around the Gulf of Aden, despite the deterrent of stepped-up international naval escorts and patrols - and the increased failure rate of their attacks. Under agreements with Somalia, the U.N, and each other, ships belonging to fifteen countries now patrol the area. Somali pirates - who have won themselves nearly $200 million in ransom since early 2008 - are being captured more frequently now, and handed over to authorities in Kenya, Yemen and Somalia for trial. Collected here are some recent photos of piracy off the coast of Somalia, and the international efforts to rein it in. (30 photos total)

Pirates flee from the German navy as the frigate Rheinland-Pfalz intercepted them in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast on March 3, 2009. The German navy detained nine people on March 3, 2009 after they tried to attack a German merchant ship, German media reported. (REUTERS/Bundeswehr)

This handout photo shows Somali pirates hijacking the MV Faina, a cargo ship owned and operated by Kaalbye Shipping Ukraine on September 25, 2008. The pirates ultimately released the MV Faina and its cargo of 33 Soviet-era T-72 tanks plus other weapons on February 5, 2009 following a ransom payment of $3.2 million, a local man who helped negotiate the deal said. (REUTERS/U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs/Handout/Files) #

In this photo released by the United States Navy, Somali pirates holding the merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck of the ship after a U.S. Navy request to check on the health and welfare of the ship's crew in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Somalia. (AP Photo/U.S.Navy, Petty Officer Jason Zalasky) #

The crew of the hijacked Ukrainian merchant vessel MV Faina stand on the deck, under the watch of armed Somali pirates on November 9 after a US Navy request to check on their health and welfare, at sea off the coast of Somalia. (HO/AFP/Getty Images) #

A French Atlantic plane passes over the French Frigate Le Floreal of the EPE (Embedded Protection Team), in the Gulf of Aden on January 10, 2009, as they escort a Danish ship with sensitive freight, off the coast of Djibouti, as part of an assignment to escort commercial ships in this area. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Suspected pirates keep their hands in the air as directed by sailors aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf (CG 72) (not shown), in the Gulf of Aden, February 11, 2009. A multinational naval force seized the seven suspected pirates in the first such action in its anti-piracy campaign, the U.S. Navy said. (REUTERS/Jason R. Zalasky/U.S. Navy/Handout) #

Search and seizure team members from the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf close in to apprehend suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden February 11, 2009. The Vella Gulf is the flagship for Combined Task Force 151, a multi-national task force conducting counterpiracy operations to detect and deter piracy in and around the Gulf of Aden, Arabian Gulf, Indian Ocean and Red Sea. (Jason R. Zalasky/AFP/Getty Images) #

French frigate, Le Floreal watches over the Danish ship "Puma" which is carrying sensitive cargo, on January 11, 2009, in the Gulf of Aden. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

The MV Sirius Star is observed at anchor by the US Navy on January 9, 2009 following an apparent payment via a parachuted container to pirates holding the Sirius Star. Suspected pirates can be seen on deck an up in the command center. (David B. Hudson/AFP/Getty Images) #

A parachute dropped by a small aircraft is observed by the U.S. Navy as it drops over the MV Sirius Star during an apparent payment via a parachuted container to pirates holding the Sirius Star off the coast of Somalia, January 9, 2009. Somali pirates then freed the Saudi supertanker seized in the world's biggest ship hijacking for a $3 million ransom - but five drowned when their boat capsized as they were making off with their share. (REUTERS/David B. Hudson/U.S. Navy photo/Handout) #

Flying on board a Panther helicopter dispatched from the French frigate, Le Floreal, a crew member watches a commercial ship during a supervision mission on January 11, 2009, in the Gulf of Aden. (STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images) #

Search and seizure team members from the guided-missile cruiser USS Vella Gulf close in to apprehend suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden February 12, 2009. (Jason R. Zalasky/AFP/Getty Images) #

Commandos from French frigate Le Floreal arrest nine Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden in this January 27, 2009 photo released on Wednesday by the French Navy. As foreign navies fight increasingly brazen gangs that hijack commercial vessels in busy shipping lanes. France has captured 57 pirates in seven such operations since last April. (HO/Reuters) #

This photo taken Sunday, Jan. 4, 2009 and provided by French Defense Ministry shows suspected pirates, intercepted by Marine commandos of the French Navy in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia coasts. French government officials say the Jean de Vienne intercepted and captured 19 pirates Sunday as they tried to take over two cargo ships, one Croatian and the other Panamanian. (AP Photo/French Navy/French Defense Ministry/HO) #

Picture released by the German Bundeswehr on March 4, 2009 shows Bundeswehr soldiers approaching pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on March 3, 2009, after frigate Rheinland-Pfalz (background) had received a distress call from a German-owned container ship saying she was under fire from pirates armed with bazookas and machine guns. The frigate then dispatched a helicopter which together with another chopper from the US naval ship Monterey stopped the attempted attack by firing warning shots. German soldiers boarded the pirate vessel and took the nine into custody, the German military said. (BUNDESWEHR/AFP/Getty Images) #

German navy from frigate Rheinland-Pfalz detain pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast on March 3, 2009, in this picture made available on March 4, 2009. (REUTERS/Bundeswehr) #

A Somali pirate captured in the Gulf of Aden is handed over by the French forces to the Puntland marine officials in the northern port town of Bosasso, Somalia on January 29, 2009. The French navy handed over nine suspected pirates to the authorities in Puntland. (REUTERS/Abdiqani Hassan) #

Suspected Somali pirates are seen after they were captured by Marine commandos of the French Navy in the Gulf of Aden, off Somalia's coast Thursday Jan. 29, 2009. (AP Photo) #

A rusty Kalashnikov assault rifle, confiscated from pirates detained by German navy from frigate Rheinland-Pfalz in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia's coast on March 3, 2009, in this picture made available on March 4, 2009. The German navy detained nine people on March 3, 2009 after they tried to attack a German merchant ship, German media reported. (REUTERS/Bundeswehr) #

Somali pirates captured in the Gulf of Aden are presented to the Puntland marine forces in the northern port town of Bosasso, Somalia on March 2, 2009. U.S. forces handed over nine pirates to Somali authorities of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland on Monday, said local official. (REUTERS/Stringer) #

Seven Somalian pirates are led to court by Kenyan police officers on March 6, 2009 at the port town of Mombasa, Kenya. US Naval vessel VSS Leyte Gulf intercepted last month the pirates off the Somalian coast as they attempted to board a merchant vessel. (STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images) #

Some of the eight suspected Somali pirates at the Mombasa Law courts, Mombasa, Kenya, Wednesday, Jan 14, 2009, when the hearing of their piracy case started. The pirates were arrested early last month by naval officers from a British Naval Ship MV Knight Wave which has been on patrol along the Indian Ocean waters. Two British Naval officers were the first to give their evidence against the pirates. The hearing of the case will continue for three days.(AP Photo) #

In this photo provided by the U.S. Navy, ransom money is dropped near the Ukrainian cargo ship MV Faina while under observation by a U.S. Navy ship February 4, 2009 off the coast of Somalia near Hobyo. Pirates did not leave the ship until February 5. (Michael R. McCormick/U.S. Navy via Getty Images) #

The Belize flagged MV Faina is escorted by a Kenyan port authority tug vessel into the port of Mombasa, Kenya on February 12, 2009, after it was released by Somali pirates a week ago. It arrived in Mombasa amid a raging controversy over its cargo of battle tanks and ammunition. While Kenya has always said the shipment was for its armed forces, several experts and diplomats in the region have revealed it was in fact destined to the government of South Sudan and was the fifth delivery of its kind in less than two years. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Soviet made T-72 tanks sit in the hull of the Belize flagged MV Faina on February 13, 2009 at the Mombasa, Kenya harbor where it has been berthed for the last two days. (TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images) #

Suspected pirates wait to be moved at the port in Mombassa, Kenya, Tuesday, March 10, 2009, after they were handed over to Kenyan police by the German navy who arrested them off the coast of Somalia the previous week. The frequency of attacks has actually increased since last year: 31 reported were reported in January and February compared to 111 for the whole of 2008, but the pirates are finding it harder to seize vessels. (AP Photo) #

File picture dated April 22, 2008 shows Yemeni coast guards on standby next to the damaged Japanese tanker Takayama, that was attacked by pirates following its arrival in the southern Yemeni port of Aden. Half of the its members don't know how to swim and they don't have enough boats, leaving Yemen's coast guards struggling to meet the enormous maritime challenges facing one of the world's poorest nations; piracy. (KHALED FAZAA/AFP/Getty Images) #

German Bundeswehr soldiers approach pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on March 3, 2009, after the German frigate Rheinland-Pfalz had received a distress call from a German-owned container ship saying she was under fire from pirates armed with bazookas and machine guns. (BUNDESWEHR/AFP/Getty Images) #

German Bundeswehr soldiers apprehend pirates in the Gulf of Aden off Somalia on March 3, 2009. (BUNDESWEHR/AFP/Getty Images) #

Suspected Somali pirates sit in the dock inside a court of law in the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa March 6, 2009. The United States had turned over seven suspected Somali pirates to Kenya for prosecution for the first time under a bilateral pact that opened the way for the U.S. Navy to capture pirates on the high seas. (REUTERS/Joseph Okanga) #



 
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