Russian Navy hands over 10 Somali suspected pirates to Yemen
A Russian Navy ship on Wednesday handed over to Yemeni authorities 10 Somali suspected pirates it had captured off a Yemeni island in the Indian Ocean, security sources said, dpa reported. Yemeni coast guard officers received the suspects at the south-eastern port of Mukalla, the sources said. A Russian nuclear-powered warship captured the 10 pirates in two speed boats and a mother ship as they tried to hijack an Iranian fishing trawler south east of the Socotra Island in the Indian Ocean on February 12, according to the Russian Navy. Piracy off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden has surged in recent months as Somalia descended further into chaos and the ineffectual central government continues to squabble. The Gulf of Aden, that lies between Yemen and Somalia, and connects the Red Sea with the Indian Ocean, has seen an unprecedented rise in piracy, with 42 ships hijacked and 69 piracy attempts thwarted in 2008. This waterway is one of the world's most important sea lanes, and an important thoroughfare for goods heading from Asia to Europe. This was the third group of suspected Somali pirates that Yemen received from foreign navy ships operating as part of international task force in the Gulf of Aden and off the Horn of Africa. In the past two months, Yemen received 16 suspected pirates captured by the international navy forces in the area. Foreign navies have recently sent over a dozen warships to the area seeking to stop piracy in the region, which has driven up shipping costs and forced some ships to re-route around Africa rather than passing through the Suez Canal. Last week, a regional conference on piracy was held in Sana'a and called for stepping up efforts to combat the growing threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden.