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US gives Seychelles drones to track Somali pirates

Shortly after Somali Islamist rebels claimed to have shot down an American drone, the US has given the Seychelles an undisclosed number of unmanned spy planes to help it fight off Somali pirates. The Seychelles says the drones, which it will control, will be used for surveillance in the Indian Ocean. The pirates have been going farther and farther offshore to escape the attentions of some of the world’s biggest navies patrolling the region, including those of the US, France, China and India, since international warships began sailing the Gulf of Aden. Pirates have attacked some 150 vessels so far this year, according to US Navy figures, with more than 30 ships seized. While there are no ready links between Somali pirates and Somalia’s radical Islamists, the US may be trying to kill two birds with one stone.

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