Russian warship escorted 30 vessels in Gulf of Aden since mid-June

A Russian task force led by the Severomorsk destroyer from the Northern Fleet has escorted a total of 30 commercial ships through pirate-infested waters off the Somali coast since June 17.

“The Severomorsk destroyer arrived in the area on June 17, and has successfully escorted several convoys consisting of 30 vessels from various countries along the shipping routes in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea,” a spokesman for the Northern Fleet, Capt. 1st Rank Vadim Serga, said on Friday.

The Russian Navy has maintained a presence off the Somali coast since October 2008, with warships operating on a rotation basis.

The latest Russian anti-piracy mission in the Gulf of Aden was carried out by a Pacific Fleet task force led by the Admiral Vinogradov destroyer.

During its four-month-long patrol duty, which ended on April 17, the task force successfully escorted 14 convoys of commercial vessels.

According to the UN, the number of pirate attacks on merchant ships reached 400 in 2010. A total of 790 sailors and crew members were captured by pirates last year.

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