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Russia Says Navy To Police Pirates In Africa

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- Russia will keep a warship off the coast of East Africa to patrol against Somali pirates, the Russian Navy has said.

This month one of its destroyers, the "Neustrashimy" (Fearless), scared off pirates trying to capture ships in the Gulf of Aden.

"After the 'Neustrashimy,' ships from other fleets of the Russian Navy will head to the region," Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky told the RIA Novosti news agency.

Military forces across the world are trying to protect cargo ships using the sea corridor around the Horn of Africa linking Europe and Asia -- one of the busiest trade routes in the world.

On November 15, pirates captured a Saudi Arabian tanker carrying a cargo of oil valued at around $100 million.

The aging Russian Navy wants to improve its image after a series of deadly accidents.

This month, 20 people died on a Russian submarine when fire-extinguishing equipment went off, releasing a toxic gas that asphyxiated them.

It was the worst Russian naval accident since an explosion on a submarine killed 118 sailors in 2000.