US drones help Seychelles

2009-10-20 20:06

Nairobi - Unmanned US surveillance planes will be used in the fight against piracy off the Seychelles coast, which has seen a rise in ship hijackings in recent days.

In a statement, the Seychelles foreign ministry said the planes "will in the near future boost counter-piracy surveillance in the Seychelles and the Western Indian Ocean."

It did not say when they received the planes or how many there were.

Since the monsoon winds dropped recently, piracy incidents have been on the rise after a relative lull and most of the incidents took place either inside or just outside the Seychelles exclusive economic zone.

On Monday, Somali pirates captured a Chinese cargo vessel with 25 crew members northeast of the Seychelles, four days after other pirates seized a Singaporean container ship around 300 nautical miles (555km) north of the archipelago.