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Germany

German Navy Captain Says Anti-Piracy Mission Succeeding

The captain of a German Navy warship on an anti-piracy mission off Somalia said Friday the mission was succeeding, even though a German-owned gas tanker was snatched by pirates the previous day elsewhere on the coast.

Ship involved in the anti-piracy mission

A Germany navy captain says many pirate attacks have been prevented off the coast of Somalia

The 3,415-gross-ton Longchamp reached Somali waters Thursday evening under pirate command, said Cyrus Mody, a spokesman for the International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in London.

The pirates are expected to demand a ransom for the vessel, its crew and its Asia-bound cargo of liquefied gas. German defense officials say the Longchamp was not part of a convoy under military supervision when it was hijacked.

The European Union has posted an anti-piracy force to the Gulf of Aden to protect shipments of aid to the Somali people.

Many attacks prevented, captain says

Golf von Aden - Jagd auf Piraten

Pirates aim weapons on the deck of a Chinese ship in the Gulf of Aden

Speaking by phone to ZDF public-service television Friday, captain Kay-Achim Schoenbach of the frigate Mecklenburg-Vorpommern said, "It has definitely been a successful mission, if you look at the number of hijackings at sea."

"The one fact that is not countable is the number of cases where nothing has happened," he added.

He said the mission, code-named Atalanta, had prevented many pirate attacks.

"That's true, even if in the case of the Longchamp it seems superficially the opposite," Schoenbach said.

The Longchamp flies the Bahamas flag, but belongs to a Hamburg company, MPC Steamship.

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