CAIRO — Yemen has formed a maritime unit to fight pirates in the
Gulf of Aden.
The Yemen Coast Guard has established an anti-piracy unit to battle an
increase in piracy in the Arabian Sea and Red Sea, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the unit
would contain 16 fast patrol boats acquired from Australia.
"The aim of the deployment is to enhance the protection of ships and
stop Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden and Bab Al Mandab Strait," a Coast
Guard official said.
Officials said each patrol boat would contain 60 marines trained to
combat piracy. They said the vessels would contain artillery, radar and
"We have already trained officers on detecting and monitoring pirates
and recognizing vessels in distress," the official said.
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Officials said the Yemeni force would work with regional and Western
navies, including France, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and the United
States. At least eight ships were attacked by pirates since July 20, and 27
since April 2008.
Industry analysts attribute the rise in piracy to the success in
obtaining large ransoms for the release of ships. They said despite the
increased threat, commercial vessels have been slow in procuring such
security systems as electric fences, cameras, surveillance and armed guards.
"It is more by luck than anything else that we haven't had a major
disaster yet," Andrew Linnington, an analyst of the British maritime union