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South-east Asia has become a global hub for pirate attacks: UN

Published on Jun 12, 2014 11:54 PM
The Japanese oil tanker which was raided by armed pirates sails at Port Klang, outside Kuala Lumpur on April 23, 2014. Armed pirates raided the Japanese oil tanker off the coast of Malaysia and abducted three crew members, Malaysian maritime police said. The incident in the Malacca Strait, a route for about a quarter of the world's seaborne oil trade, has fuelled fears piracy could be on the rise in the area. --PHOTO: REUTERS

GENEVA (AFP) - South-east Asia has become the world's hotspot for pirate attacks after an international clampdown slashed the number of hijackings off the coast of war-torn Somalia, the United Nations said Thursday.

Last year, 28 boats were attacked in the western Indian Ocean but none taken captive in the region, the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (Unitar) said in a report.

That compares to January 2011, when Somali pirates held 736 hostages and 32 boats, some onshore and others on their vessels.

"There has been a significant reduction in the number of pirate attacks during 2013, to the extent one can claim they have almost stopped," Unitar said after its five-year study.

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