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Tuesday, March 9, 2010    

Turkish commandos intercept, capture pirate ship in Gulf of Aden

ANKARA — Turkey's navy captured seven suspected pirates in the Gulf of Aden on March 7.   

Officials said a Turkish commando unit operating from the naval frigate TCS Gemlik intercepted the suspected pirate vessel.

In the wake of incrased pirate activity, Turkey has decided to deploy another naval vessel in a Western-led anti-piracy mission in the Gulf, Middle East Newsline reported.

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The military said the Turkish Navy's TCG Gelibolu would replace another frigate, TCG Gediz in operations in the Arabian Sea and Red Sea.

"This will ensure Turkish participation in the task force for at least another year," an official said.

The Turkish Navy has deployed five frigates in the Gulf region since February 2009. The Turkish parliament has approved the naval deployment in the region as part of Combined Task Force 151, an international effort to battle pirates from Somalia.

This marked the second interception by Gemlik in about two weeks. On Feb. 20, Gemlik intercepted and boarded a suspected pirate ship and ordered it to return to Somalia.

"The quick response to investigate and disrupt the suspected pirate attack is also testament to the professionalism and good understanding established between the multi-national warships working 24/7 to ensure freedom of navigation in this part of the world," CTF-151 commander Singaporean Rear Adm. Bernard Miranda said.

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