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Italian offical targets piracy in Somalia

Italian offical targets piracy in Somalia
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini delivers a speech during a visit to a United Nations school in Beit Lahia, northern Gaza , on November 24, 2010. UPI/Ismael Mohamad | License Photo

ROME, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini says officials are working with the Somali government to free Italian sailors held by pirates.

Frattani, speaking on Italian TV, said new measures against the Somali pirates were agreed upon at the United Nations summit in New York last week, ANSA reported. Frattani told the father of one of the captives the government and intelligence groups are taking action along the Somali coast where 11 crew members from two Italian ships are being held.

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Frattini said he and Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali have had long discussions and agreed to a joint action. An international agreement reached earlier this year forbids governments from paying ransom to the pirates.

"In the past we have succeeded in freeing other ships with patience and undercover work. Intelligence services have been mobilized," Frattini said.

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