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Pirate Attacks Reach Record High

January 31, 2001

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) _ Pirate attacks have reached an all-time high, with 72 people killed in 469 attacks last year, and the waterways of Indonesia remain the most dangerous, a maritime monitoring group reported Wednesday.

The number of pirate attacks in 2000 rose 57 percent compared to 1999, with about one-third occurring in Indonesian waters, the International Maritime Bureau said in its annual report.

Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago with 13,000 islands, was also the country where pirate attacks were most violent, the report said. Pirates, many armed with knives, boarded 86 ships, hijacking two, and tried to attack 31 other vessels in Indonesian waters, the report said.

``There are no signs the attacks will drop unless Indonesia takes serious steps to address the problem,″ the maritime bureau said in a statement.

Piracy also increased in Bangladesh, India, Ecuador, the Straits of Malacca and the Red Sea, the report said.

The United Nations is set to discuss piracy in May, the report said, and Japan’s Coast Guard had expressed its readiness to spearhead a multinational anti-piracy effort.

The International Maritime Bureau is a London-based organization funded largely by ship owners and insurers.

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On the Net:

International Maritime Bureau site, http://www.icc-ccs.org

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