Ships need armed guards to fight piracy, says US Navy commander

April 14th, 2009 - 2:59 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, April 14 (Xinhua) A US military commander has urged the shipping companies to hire armed guards to protect their cargo vessels from Somali pirates.
Vice Admiral Bill Gortney, in charge of the US Navy’s Central Command fleet, said in a CNN interview Monday that shipping companies needed a last line of defence against pirates, including armed guards and barbed wire around the lower parts of the ship.

Somali piracy have come under spotlight after US cargo ship Maersk Alabama was attacked by pirates last week, the first case involving a US vessel in more than 200 years.

More than 100 ships have been attacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia last year, according to an estimate.

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