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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — An international fleet of warships is attacking and destroying Somali pirate vessels closer to the shores of East Africa and the new strategy, combined with more aggressive confrontations further out to sea, has dealt the brigands a setback, officials and experts said Thursday.
The new tactics by the European Union naval force comes after Spain— which currently holds the EU's rotating presidency, and whose fishing vessels are frequent pirate targets — encouraged more aggressive pursuit of pirates and the coalition obtained more aircraft and other military assets, said Rear Adm. Peter Hudson, the force commander.
The EU Naval Force attacked 12 groups of pirate vessels, which normally includes several skiffs and a mother vessel, this month, more than last year. Half of those attacks were on the high seas and half close to shore, reflecting the new strategy to intercept pirates before they reach deep water and international shipping lanes.