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Report: Russia detains 29 suspected pirates

  • Story Highlights
  • Seven assault weapons, several handguns found on suspects' boat
  • Report: Suspects may have been involved in failed attempt to hijack a Russian ship
  • Piracy is a major problem in the waters off Somalia
  • Somalia has not had a stable government in place since 1991
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(CNN) -- Russian authorities detained 29 suspected Somali pirates in waters off the Horn of Africa, a Russian state-run news agency reported Wednesday.

Authorities searched the suspects' boat and found seven assault weapons and several handguns, the state-run RIA Novosti news agency said.

They also found evidence that the suspects could have been involved in a recent failed attempt to hijack a Russian vessel, the news agency reported.

Russia has just deployed a missile destroyer to a new anti-piracy task force off the coast of Somalia.

Despite the introduction of international naval patrols in the region, pirates have continued to attack commercial vessels and collect large ransoms, running into millions of dollars, from shipping companies.

Attacks on ships in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's coast accounted for 61 of the 102 attacks during the first quarter of this year.

That compares with six incidents for the same period in 2008, said the International Maritime Bureau, which issues regular reports on piracy worldwide.

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