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Somali pirates operate from mother ships

Nov. 11, 2005 at 11:51 PM

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Nov. 11 (UPI) -- The International Maritime Bureau says the pirates plaguing the coast of Somalia are operating from large mother ships.

Captain Pottengal Mukundan told the BBC that fast launches go out from the command vessels to raid ships, allowing them to attack even those that keep their distance from the shore.

Pirates are now holding seven ships, and an attack this week on a cruise ship was believed to be the 19th this year. The Seabourn Spirit was 100 miles offshore when the crew repelled attackers.

Somalia has had no effective government for 14 years.

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