Ukraine to send anti-terrorist unit to fight Somali pirates

09:36, 04 December 2009
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Ukraine will send...

Ukraine will send soldiers from an elite special forces unit to combat Somali pirates, local media reported on Thursday, according to Xinhua.

    A total of 25 soldiers from Ukraine`s anti-terrorist unit "Alfa" will soon travel to the Gulf of Aden region, Valentyn Nalivaichenko, chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), was quoted as saying.

    The SBU`s "Alfa" is considered the best-trained and equipped unit of any branch of Ukraine`s armed services.

    The mission of the "Alfa" soldiers would be to protect Ukrainian and other nations` commercial ships transiting waters off Somalia, as part of the European Union`s Atalanta naval operation.

    The "Alfa" troopers could, along with similar special forces already sent to the region by Spain and Greece, be placed aboard cargo ships to repel pirate attacks, or board a ship captured by pirates to free hostages, Nalivaichenko said.

    The EU launched the Atalanta anti-pirate operation in November 2008. Warships, aircraft, and some 12,000 naval personnel from the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium are participating.

    Somali pirates in September 2008 captured the cargo ship MV Faina, which was carrying weaponry and a crew of 17 Ukrainians.

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